Thursday 26 August 2010

No metaphors

It's when life gets too small for metaphors that you're in trouble, I think - when there's space only for the baldest, most literal and immediate realities of things. That's when you can't write, when you have no stories.

Reading Beth's and Peter's engaging discussion of Faulkner's novel, Absalom, Absalom!, I appreciate how allusive, how multiple it is, how it's about themselves and each other, their own intellects and accumulated knowledge and opinions, as much as it's about the book. How every shape carries [metapherein] their conversation towards another, related, shape. How they have much that is rich to say because every exchange brings them to something else the book reminds them of, and so around and back to the book itself again. This is why I will continue reading.

Metaphor is necessary as the ground beneath our feet, the food and drink in our mouths. WIthout it, no flow, no fiction, no poetry, no art - no human as distinct from animal.

On bad days in the invisible prison, I'm an animal. A legless, eyeless, earless kind of worm, at that.


Beth said...

But as ugly as it may be, you're still making poetry out of that prison. I think the worm analogy is apt because the lack of appendages, voice, normal sensory organs is what it feels like when we feel silenced and trapped. Time for metamorphosis.

Thanks for the link, Jean. I'm really glad you're enjoying the conversation - inviting Peter to converse with me has given me a boost, too, at a time when I was running out of idea. I'd love to do this with you sometime!

Jean said...

Thanks, Beth.

Yes, I'd love to do this with you some time, too. When I'm feeling less brain-dead and can do it justice, obviously.

Dale said...

I'd love to do that with you too. (Tho not with Faulkner.) And ditto what Beth said: this is a self-refuting post if I ever saw one :-)

Hey, did you see Janet McCann got her "House" chapbook published? Linked over at Qarrt.

Jean said...

Yay! I'm so pleased. Just ordered a copy. :-)

Vivien said...

Don't feel brain-dead - you produce such imaginative and original photos!