Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Writing that is an event

From an interview with Carole Maso by David F. Hoenigman (link via Ron Silliman):
DH: Do you consider yourself an experimental writer?

CM: I do consider myself a writer of experiment in that the available models for writing novels for instance do not approximate the ways I perceive and experience story and so I am put into the position of continually trying to find resonant shapes to approximate the world I move through, and the ways in which I live in language. Because my forms are not borrowed or inherited or already decided every day is a day of great excitement and surprise and joy. I feel content is wed to form and so with each project the shape has to be reinvented to some degree—and this requires the willingness to experiment, to risk appearing ridiculous, to fail if necessary. I am much more interested in producing a flawed, mortal document, than something that is just a nod to a certain set of conventions. I also tend to favor writing that is an event in some way, and not just the record of an event; it creates a more vulnerable, fluid space, where the unforeseen, or the errant, or something a a little wild is allowed to enter. It's quite thrilling.

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3 Comments:

OpenID lloydmintern said...

In my experience "experiment" in literary expressions leads one wily-nily into history, where one is embarrassed, if they are honest, at just how unoriginal they are. Not, as CM seems to say, away from it into some land of free thought. The only way to achieve something novel (which is imperative) is by learning and plodding.

December 24, 2008 3:15 AM  
Blogger Anirudh said...

"I also tend to favor writing that is an event in some way, and not just the record of an event; it creates a more vulnerable, fluid space, where the unforeseen, or the errant, or something a a little wild is allowed to enter. It's quite thrilling."

Yes. And I wish more writers thought of it that way.

December 24, 2008 8:37 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I hear what you're saying, Lloyd, but I think perhaps you're over-reading into Maso's comment. I seriously doubt she'd disagree with the main thrust of your point. When she says her "forms are not borrowed or inherited or already decided", I read that is simply saying that she cannot simply fill her "content" into some accepted form, but has to find the correct one. If some earlier, more "original" writer happened upon a similar form, then so be it.

I'm curious, have you read Maso's fiction?

December 29, 2008 8:53 PM  

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