“Could you show me time as it passes?”

November 29, 2016 § 2 Comments

http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/

My favorite place on the internet, now, is the above one. I want to read everything Jeanette Winterson writes, many times over. I have had troubles with words since I stopped writing daily and instead sat back, or hunched forward, and thought and thought. Then where did the thoughts go? I didn’t write them all, instead focusing upon the sorts of things I felt I must communicate immediately. Those in themselves are troublesome. There is no gray energy to them. There is a split among facts to memorize, discoveries to be made, discoveries made and yet-to-be-analyzed. And reanalyzed. There is a significant difference in teaching styles among my teachers. One is dismissive and impatient. I dislike going to that class. I dislike the way she dismisses people who ask for help, or simply gives them, verbatim, the answer from the textbook. I find myself thinking about my professors often, piecing together the snippets they offer from their personal lives. My anthropology professor begins the class speaking in a booming voice, as if she’s gathered up all her energy and whooshed it all out at once, and then gradually lessens in volume and movement throughout the class, finally winding up standing still at the cabinet of skulls. (This is a cabinet, and it’s full of skulls.) But also I’ve spent these months, back as a student again, seeking accuracy and precision in a way I have not done in years. For many months I have remembered no dreams at all. At first I slept when I began to feel hallucinatory; now I sleep when the nausea rolls over me. Still I don’t worry the way that I used to. My hyperorganization mitigates that sort of thing, but at the same time it dampens my impulse to create. So it always returns to that as if it ever left, so it is I depress myself in my failure to communicate, a thing so oft-repeated I’m not entirely sure when it’s necessary, and when not. Rereading Winterson has been the best way I can think of to put joy back in the language I am relearning.

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§ 2 Responses to “Could you show me time as it passes?”

  • “Poetic disorder is how language is made. Only later is it codified. Naming starts as joy. Think of the pleasure a child has in finding words and inventing words and forming sentences that are also shapes. Words are ear and mouth before they are pen and paper. Words run away; you have to catch them.
    Machine-made language, the language that comes later, in school and then at work, is useful enough but it has no life of its own. The job of the writer is stay on the side of life. The moving words were what I wanted –”………………

  • I like what she writes about fasting too. (It really does do marvelous things for asthmatics.)

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