Sunday, May 24, 2009

Finding the Beginning

The difficulty of finishing a work is not about finding the right ending; it's about discovering where it really began.
This book you've been working on for more than eight years, my son offered, presciently; maybe the problem is--you aren’t the same person, the same writer you were when you began; maybe you need to write it as though it were written by the writer you are now.

This was about when I wrote the post on PLAY. I’ve rewritten revised and edited almost 150 pages since. I’ve also been doing a lot of cutting and pasting, moving chapters and sections—like a collage. When I look over the new configurations (actually, I read them, record them as MP3’s and listen to them), I ask, where did this come from? What is the common source? … a question of generation.

Disparate pieces fitted together, added, rearranged, create a new reading for each part in the context of their altered relationship. Their relative proximity and distance does more than alter the reading; it reveals a new and unanticipated source—creates and points back to a common origin which defines the aesthetic whole, the illusion of unity. When seeking for the thematic center--for 'what the book is about,' I find the answer changes, not because I change my mind but because different answers are created through these different arrangements... as they are through the whole process of writing. There is no beginning--no source, until the book is finished, and then--it is bound to change, to be changed, with every reading.
This morning I worked over another four chapters. Coming up on material more resistant, less sure how or if it belongs. Following through on ideas from my previous post HERE, the right question: what has generated it? Again, striking analogies with the interpretation of dreams, and in a broader sense, with psychoanalysis. One reads and responds to what one writes in search for the source, not of one's own experience (except indirectly... the indirection being all important), but for the source of the work. An act of expulsion severing its Being from that of the Self--until it become self-creating, self-generating.

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