August 8, 2015

Ten Years


Lacan is not this kind of poet of failure. The truly traumatic thing is that miracles – not in the religious sense but in the sense of free acts – do happen, but it’s very difficult to come to terms with them. So we should reject this idea of a poetry of failure. For Lacan, Real is not this kind of Thing-in-itself that we cannot approach; Real is, rather, freedom as a radical cut in the texture of reality.
– Slavoj Žižek, from Conversations with Zizek 

I have now been doing A Radical Cut in the Texture of Reality for ten years. The first post was on August 8, 2005. As I recently wrote:

When I started my blog almost ten years ago, the main reason was that I was struggling with writers block. I was tired of sending my writing out to publishers and having it rejected, or accepted but with alterations that frequently made it feel less like my own. I would think about the various publishing opportunities open to me and it would kill at least some of my desire to write anything new. And then, suddenly, with this blog I could write just a few sentences and put them out into the world immediately. It didn’t have to be the greatest thing I had ever written. It could simply be a chance for a few interested readers to see my working process, and if they liked it to encourage me with their comments. To try things out and learn through doing.

In this sense A Radical Cut has been about as effective a thing in my work life as I am able to imagine. When I started ten years ago I had almost completely stopped writing, and somehow all this got me going again, put a few of my words out into the world where they could be both criticized and encouraged. I'm not sure I would have written any of the books I've written over the past ten years if I didn't also have this forum to share things as they went, to pursue dead ends in public and to see what my thoughts looked and felt like when I shared them online.

Ten years is a long time to do something and I wanted to somehow mark the occasion. So far this is all I've come up with. I wonder if I'll manage another ten...


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