Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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Constrhaints

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: autobiography, fiction
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