S wrote me this morning. having read this odd blog of mine. I’m still not sure what the point of it is. Maybe as a place I can write in brief bites, despite and through the constant battle with my hands. To make them hit the keys, then constantly correcting them when they do it wrong.
S wrote to me about mirrors.His thoughts were compelling. The double mirror to infinity. The single mirror to the walls we might erect between self and self. The strange abyss, into which we might watch ourselves fall, that might nonetheless be replete with something. i was very moved by this reflection on my reflections. i did always want to say meaningful things. I am concerned about being morose, self serving, trite. What stopped me from writing in this space in the first instance, and then stopped me from circulating it when I did start using it. G circulated it instead. A second hand second hand. It was nice of him to do this, to indulge my reticence and shrinking impulses.
L wrote to tell me about a special issue of Catalyst on dying and social media, among other themes. I wrote to the editors about the call for papers. I am pretty sure I can’t manage a regular article. it takes too long to think. I can’t manage windows. My books are inaccessible to me since my office upstairs became too far to walk to, it is too hard to sit in a chair, too difficult to get my hands to turn pages. How do you write without citation? How do you stay in conversations, when everything is conspiring to monologues, to solipsism, to mirrors only of one mind. I’ve always prized the dialogues of formal scholarship. How can it count, if I can only count on one vantage point? I argued in my gene book against monocultures and monoglossic perspectives. I argued that the preoccupation with singularities is a flaw of logic, a consoling mythology and a normotic projection. Its what I said at my book launch too, when I could still engage socially, in a public setting. I watched myself in my last public performance. I don’t want it to be. But I am not like Stephen Hawking. I can’t find a way to stay in the world, or to engage in complex theorising, or to stay connected to the larger conversation.
I have just come across your call for papers through a colleague … I currently am doing some of what your issue abstract described, a dying person writing through a social media platform. The special issue is resonant for me, and in principle I would like to submit an abstract. I am not sure I am or will be well enough though to produce a conventional journal essay. So my question is whether there might be some latitude regarding style and form and if in principle you might also be interested in contributions that are not conventional, but that might nevertheless reflect on the themes you cite in the call for papers.
[from my email to the editors]
Thank you for the catalyst link. I just sent them an email asking if they would accept an abstract for a paper that I might not be well enough to write in the conventional journal manner. So we will see what they say. I’m not sure what I would produce. But clearly the themes in their call for papers are resonant. I’m not sure what I could do with them head on directly. But if they are interested, I could try to think of something. It’s much more difficult for me to write as my hands are very painful and barely functional. It takes ages for me to type things out. And using multiple windows has gotten almost non- doable.
[from my email to L]