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A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is. When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and, alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man-or this woman-may use a typewriter, or profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I do. As he writes, he may drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time, he may rise from his table to look out the window at the children playing in the street, or, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or even at a black wall. He may write poems, or plays, or novels, as I do. But all these differences arise only after the crucial task is complete-after he has sat down at the table and patiently turned inward. To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.
What Was Postmodernism?
At the Electronic Book Review Brian McHale has a new essay on postmodernism. He extracts quotations from Raymond Federman’s novel, Aunt Rachel’s Fur, of which the following is one.
So you find my novel too postmodern, wrong again Gaston, you’ve arrived too late, we are already beyond postmodernism, it’s dead, dead and gone, don’t you know, it’s been buried, where have you been, and that’s precisely the problem for literature today, now that postmodernism is dead, writers don’t know how to replace it, the disappearance of postmodernism was devastating for the writers, but it was not surprising, it was expected to happen for some time, the last gasp happened the day Samuel Beckett changed tense and joined the angels, I can give you an exact date if you want to, postmodernism died because Godot never came…
The essay leaves one with much to think about.