Just a collection of words and ideas that this busy world has no interest in.
Words too true, words too unsightly, words too outdated, words too bold.
Words too out of tune, words too egregious, words too inharmonious, words too pregnant.
What do words tell about the writer and about us as creator?
This is the question that puzzles most thinkers for so long a time, so much so that, unable to cope with the depressive lack of certainty, they decided to declare words the source of evil : They are lies, they say. They are only re-presentations but never the thing itself or in itself. Don’t trust them, for they are Man’s nemesis – they derail you from the path of truth.
The Tower of Babel is not so much the punishment from God for Man’s self-ascendency and presumptuousness. Rather it is a metaphor for words’ obscurity to truth. We are miserable because we are constantly guessing what is the real intention behind those words. And such misery is doubled by our careless attitude towards them. Too much taken-for-granted. Too little care. Words escape us. We have lost them. The revenge is on us.
There have been attempts to recuperate. The modernists vowed to be the only real owner of words (after the clerics). But they were too confident. They forgot that words had a life of their own, too. In J.M. Coetzee’s Foe, we see the mute Friday’s resolution to stay away from words despite his mistress’s repeated efforts to teach him to write. What the mute Friday finally draws on the tabula rasa of language were hybrid hieroglyphs of legs and eyes that walks on the page and stare back at the drawer – they are eyes that allure the viewer to turn their gaze to where they look – at themselves, back through their own windows to the soul and straight into the psyche.
So the modernists did. But in the process they must abandon their tenacity on words. For words to find their own destination, they must be left on their own devices. Much as God has created men, men must be left to question God for his existence to be valid. In a certain sense, then, God did not exist until the moment that prophet cried out, in all aplomb as if it was a declaration: ‘My God, why have you forsaken me?’ This outward doubt represented mankind’s not only tendency, but destiny to an absolute truth, a God that was brought into being at the moment man validated the myth of Genesis.
Words therefore, in rebelling against our post-creative impulse to dictate, are actually validating our desire for truth, and that truth we found through the creative impulse
of writing. The act of writing, according to Blanchot, is towards death. The formation of words on paper signifies the end of other possibilities. But then the formation of shapes on paper is also liberation, as if in this movement the words are released to live a life of their own – with their glaring eyes forcing us to look within ourselves, we are given the validity of truth that we need as the creator.
In abandoning them in the dumpster, I take shape.