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Constrhaints - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
I was just lying on the sofa in the front room, reading 100 Years of Solitude to prepare for my first graduate class on Wednesday, when my mind drifted to the content of my previous entry.

It would be nice, I mused, to write that sort of thing as fiction.

But there are massive roadblocks impeding my progress towards that goal.

Principally, I can't seem to shake the feeling that it's important to be as truthful as possible in this forum, even though my mind is content to regard everything as fiction.

Then I had an inspiration.

What if my commitment to a veracity I believe to be impossible functions as an enabling constraint?

If Georges Pereç can compose an entire novel in French without using a single word that contains the letter "E" -- read about the Oulipo writers for other interesting examples of self-limiting -- why can't I produce a journal founded on the illusion that it's possible to represent the world truthfully?

Maybe I need the limitations imposed by my sense of how things really happened in order to write anything at all.

Truth is better than speed.

Not to mention that it's less likely to make eating Ethiopian food a hellish experience.

Tags: ,
Mode: boreal
Muse: Teenager Liebe (Unecht) - Die Ärzte - Die Ärzte früher!

3 comments or Leave a comment
cpratt From: cpratt Date: January 11th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I got into an E-mail argument with Doug Hofstadter [concerning his book Le ton beau de Marot]?

Long story short, he claimed the German translation had a letter E in it - but it doesn't in either of my copies [the Zweitausend editions]. Apparently the S. Fischer reprint may have had an E in there, but I was never, ever able to track down a copy. Perhaps you could ask interlibrary loan at the U of A to perform miracles?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 12th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


Our library doesn't deal in books anymore. . .

Seriously, I doubt it. But I'll see.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: January 11th, 2004 11:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I love it--enabling constraints. You get another email later today, though I promise shorter this time.

A question: Do enabling constraints ever enable one to the point of passing those constraints? Now that's not at all to say we don't hit up on more constraints after passing or engaging some--Still, what would it take to see ourselves as that enabled? Would we want to?

OR: Could your constraints ever enable you to write the fiction you say is roadblocked? You're right that since you're writing, you're writing it anyway, words being nasty flaming fictive things and all. Still, the novella might be in there too. The roadblock might be part of the fiction...
3 comments or Leave a comment