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Notes on Deception
I initially wrote this comic strip with slightly different words but sometimes we know that something wants to be written or in this case re-written. I don't mean to revise a written work. I mean to express again some thoughts of a written work. I just wanted a segue to the practice of writing.
I know that reading (and of course writing) poetry is not my strength. I decided to read books that teach how to read (or write) poetry to correct my inadequacy. My partner suggested Stephen Dobyns' "Best Words, Best Order". In the book's first essay entitled Deception, he discussed his motivations on writing. He first asked if a bathtub placed in Mars still be a bathtub, knowing that nobody is going to use it as one. He concluded in the similar logic that a written work (poetry or fiction) will just be a set of words without a reader.
Of course that is debatable! But we do know that as bloggers we take pleasure in knowing that our works are being read, right?
"When I write, I have certain desires... I may want it to reflect credit on me, to make me liked or respected, to bring me financial rewards." This statement could very well be quoted from my heart but according to Dobyns this is a form of self-deception. With the fear of misinterpreting his work, I had the statements below quoted from his book. It may give light why such a motivation is self-deception. Note that although I am restating some of his ideas, it shouldn't mean that I agree with them. I just find them interesting. For all we know Dobyns could have been performing a trick to deceive us. I'll let you decide.
"The finished piece of writing belongs to the reader, not the writer. If the work is successful, the writer has to become invisible."
"At some level, a piece of writing must be written for its own sake."
"For not only does the piece of writing have to transcend the writer, it must also transcend itself. It must amount to more that the sum of its parts. That is a difference between art and journalism. A writer can keep this from happening by not trying to guide what he or she is writing toward a specific future, for instance, the achieving of fame and fortune."
"One cannot be timorous and reticent; one must be original and loud. New metaphors, new rhythms, new expressions of emotion can only spring from unhindered gall."
"It is self-deception to think that the reader doesn't matter."
"A work of art is also the clearest nonphysical way that emotion is communicated from one human being to another. The emotion isn't referred to; it is re-created. The emotion shows us that out most private feeling are in fact shared feelings. And this offers us some relief from our existential isolation."