Sunday, February 7, 2010

Every Young Girl Who Reads This Will Be Lost*

In some ways this blog has been fruitful, a sort of notebook (here Bhanu considers the notebook on Harriet). But I have been much more concerned with the outside, posed to the external world, ear pressed to a window. In the morning now I wake up and check all of my various email addresses & status updates & comments on this blog. And then checking Google analytics to see who has read this blog. And ask myself: who has been listening?

I think of what Rilke would say. Rilke would say, concern oneself with solitude, look inside, write, don't worry about the reader. And I am thinking this morning how involved the reader has become in my practice, a practice becoming industry, outside. This is perhaps what I mean when I write that I feel alienated from the book's entrance into the outside world.

Anyway. I think there's an error with Google Analytics because I checked it this morning, and it said only one person read my blog yesterday (let's just say that would be a  decline). I believe there's an error, that I somehow erased some of the HTML code, but what if there wasn't?** Could I still write, should I still write, knowing no one else would read me?

Yes, of course. I think. In fact I think I would be relieved. I think of Henry Darger. Every night. Writing. Every night. Speaking to his characters out loud in different voices. Writing for Henry a sort of compulsion to create an Oz of fantasy.

And now this morning I think of other writers in solitude***. I think of Rilke's Notebooks, his Malte Laurids Brigge. Fernando Pessoa. Here is #48 of The Book of Disquiet, to me a meditation on the reader:

To understand, I destroyed myself. To understand is to forget about loving. I know nothing more simultaneously false and telling than the statement by Leonardo da Vinci that we cannot love or hate something unless we've understood it.
Solitude devastates me; company oppresses me. The presence of another person derails my thoughts; I dream of the other's presence with a strange absent-mindedness that no amount of analytical scrutiny can define. 

*reworded quote from Rousseau on the works of Sade.

**in fact I said to John, (after a status update about the blog post seemed to be erased as well), do you think the Internet is erasing me? And he replied that this was the most paranoid thought I'd ever had. Which I feel a bit proud of, of course. Of course I don't think the Internet is erasing me, that I am somehow caught in a Kavanesque story (oh Anna Kavan would have fucking HATED the Internet, can you picture her status updates? "My enemy is waiting for me today." "My enemy, I know he is there, he might be among my friends."). So  I don't think the Internet is erasing me. But of course I'm not entirely sure. How can we be entirely sure?

***I've been obsessed with these ideas lately, and already have discussed them in my post on Thomas Bernhard & Blanchot