Monday, December 7, 2009

Of course writing distorts all things

Of course writing distorts all things--be they physical objects or ideas. The apple on your counter is singular and complete, while any written description of that apple will be lengthy, multiple, and incomplete. Similarly goodness exists--(Yes! I really believe this!)--simply and indestructibly. Yet any attempt to define goodness in words inevitably becomes couch-y, contingent, amorphous, and thus prone to destruction.

Still, we cannot live without words. What writing is really good at is holding a multiplicity in mind. Just as you have difficulty remembering to get eggs, milk, and soap when you go to the grocery store, but have no trouble if you write a list. This is important because things are not just themselves but exist visible from many angles, surrounded by other things, in an ether which is feeling and imagination. Writing helps us to combat the loneliness of discreet objects in the mind. And to better represent the brick, which is as much a building as it is a brick, in the mind.

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