I am also referenced, briefly, in the interview, or the writing on this blog is referenced by Kate, as being vomitous, I suppose, but I did bring this up with Kate in one of our flurry of email exchanges today, she was worried I was offended, which I wasn't of course! flattered of course but I was worried I was really so self-involved—is my writing really that confessional? When I think of the confessional, I think of surrendering one's personal life for one's art, I'm not sure I do that. There's actually in some ways quite a screen between what I write and what is really going on, and the things that are most important, I tend not to tell, perhaps for fear, perhaps I tell them in my writing, but in distanced selves like my Maggie in O Fallen Angel or Ruth in Green Girl.
For example, I do not write when I am quite depressed. I might allude to it but I tend not to write to it or through it. Maybe it is the hints of it that is more than one should write, a sort of nakedness, of rawness. But except for low moments when I am quite unmoored, the screen is usually there.
Repat Blues and I were having a conversation about Anais Nin's journals via email, and she writes quite beautifully of them, as well as of Artaud, in her latest post, also critiquing my musing whether blogging is a freeing feminine space. She writes:
But I wonder. It has lately occurred to me that there are certain things I will never write about, or that I will write about but will not publish. Things that while I write I can feel so heavily the judges over my shoulder. Things that I can only write in my paper notebook. Even Anais Nin refused to publish certain sections of her journal until after Hugo had died. Even Anais Nin censored herself.
I don't disagree with this. I think that's true. I think I tend not to write of the really taboo. For a while in my journals I allowed myself to write the really taboo, for several years I counseled myself to write whatever I was thinking or feeling, every fight or argument between me and John, every shudder of violence through my body, every surge of unfettered desire, feelings of panic, bliss, stupidity, jealousy, paranoia, unrelenting numbness, all of it. I considered that the radical project, the keeping of the notebook, the writing everything down. And now what has come of it? I am unsure what I am supposed to censor of myself in this latest incarnation of the book which from now I think I will refer to as The Thing, because that is how it resides within my body, dark and sticky. I consider Kate's words and Repat Blue's words. Is there some sort of crime in the telling? A taboo in the telling? I don't know.
I know this might surprise some of you, maybe no, but there are great swatches I have not told, I considered telling in The Thing...but now I don't know. For so long in my life I did things for EXPERIENCE in a way, to write them later, and except for allusions...that is the stuff that still remains hidden.
In perhaps, related, news, I am completely paralyzed from reading or working on The Thing. Spare hours are spent dwindling and doing like organizing projects for elsewhere, securing venues for AWP events, etc. Somehow I cannot convince myself, lately, that I have anything worth telling.
Also: Bett linked to this advice column at The Rumpus, a green girl wanting to be a writer not a character, feeling too aphyxiated (I cannot spell it I don't care) by the GREAT MALE WRITERS, this letter is why I wrote Green Girl. And the answer is great: Write like a motherfucker. Yes!
How strange for all of us when we glimpse our names in each other's narratives, what does it mean to be a character, how can one author after this experience of seeing oneself from the outside.