Jan 7, 2009

OSS # 111: New Diet

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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."


pie said...

this new diet with its afterword is hard to digest! gives me the stomach cramps, neil!

Niel Camhalla said...

Wouldn't that help one to lose weight? Hehehe.

Mr. Scheez said...

I should try the Payatas diet. That is not eating anything.

On the topic of writing, a writer himself is a/the reader. Especially if he keeps his works just to himself and does not publish it. I have so many drafts in my blog that I do not wish to post. I just read them to myself and I take pleasure from it.

Hmmm, parang ang layo ata ng comment ko sa topic. Oh well, gusto ko lang magkunwari na may alam kahit konti. Hihihihi =)

Mr. Scheez said...

Pansin ko lang kuya, ang hilig mo sa statement na, "That is debateable". Hehehe =)

Niel Camhalla said...

Actually may point ka...yung sinulat mo, binasa mo. so may reader pa din. Parang sumusulat ng diary. Hindi ba sinulat yun para basahin uli ng may ari sa hinaharap?

On saying "That is debatable"...It's funny that you should bring it up. Kahapon lang kasi narealize ko na mahilig ako magcontrapelo. Siguro kung may trabaho na pwede ko gawin yun (parang devil's advocate) ang kukunin ko. Yung hindi ko kailangan mag-isip ng solusyon pero kumontra lang sa iniisip ng iba. :)

May naimbento ngang kataga na "There's always an exception to the rule. Even for this one." So pwede kontrahin ang rule or generalizations.

Mr. Scheez said...

"Hindi ba sinulat yun para basahin uli ng may ari sa hinaharap?", yeah ganon na nga.

Contrapelo? Para kang isa sa mga characters sa isang book ni Dean Koontz. Pero ginawa nya yun para ma-exhaust lahat ng possibilities ng isang bagay para sa protection ng buhay ng isang tao.

Mugen said...

Napaisip ako sa mga sinabi ni Dobyns.
Pero alam, I tend to appreciate works that are rarely read. Alam mong hindi siya gasgas, and you know the feelings are true kasi hindi kinokonsider ng writer (ng husto) ang thoughts ng kanyang reader.

Pure expression at best. :)

PUSANG-gala said...

"I decided to read books that teach how to read (or write) poetry to correct my inadequacy."

---I think I also need to do that. But, I am just puzzled, I see that you are very articulate. I guess you are underestimating yourself~~~~

Niel Camhalla said...

"the feelings are true kasi hindi kinokonsider ng writer (ng husto) ang thoughts ng kanyang reader."

Mag-aagree kayo ni Dobyns. Payo naman talaga nya wag i-consider masyado reactions ng tao, kung magugustuhan yung personality nung nagsulat o hindi. Wag nga daw timorous at dapat loud.

I think when Dobyns said the writer should consider the reader, I think he meant that he should aim to make the reader understand the written work. Nandun kasi ang challenge, yung ma-recreate mo yung emotions mo sa ibang tao using just words.

Minsan nga nakakatawa daw na yung sinulat mo nung matagal na panahon na ang nakaraan, hindi mo na maiintindihan kung babasahin mo ngayon kahit sarili mong diary yun. Sa ganoong paraan sa tingin ko hindi nagtagumpay ang pagsusulat.

Sabi na nga ba may mamimiss out ako na point. Baka nga na misinterpret ko pa.


Niel Camhalla said...

@PUSANG-gala, I guess I had enough head start. :) Thanks!

tagabukid said...

hmmm...di ako writer e pero the way i see it is you write to express yourself in simple and straightforward manner and to make sense for your reader. the writer's motive becomes evident, if he wants to 'impress' the reader, when he uses language that obscures more than it reveals.

dabo said...

therefore in the long run, men are also motivated entirely or partly of his desire to be remembered...regardless of the method and level of desire

a writer to his reader, God to his people, a dictator to his nation, teacher to his student or Tamarlene to his enemies..or.. vice versa of all these

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about the comic strip: ang galing witty at contemporary.. lumalabas dieting is relative, pero para sa mga mauutak, dieting could spell money.

katcarneo said...

Ewan ko, napaisip ako dito kay Mamang Dobyns. Hindi ko naman kasi mageneralize ang lahat ng taong nagsusulat---kanya kanya naman tayo ng dahilan. Pero I must say, yung mga sinusulat ko sa blog ko, these are the things I intend people to read, and what they do is reflect my personality, which, being the egotistic person that I am, find pleasing. Pero I do write things that I don't want other people to know about, and that's more on embarrassment---kasi nga egotistic ako at gusto ko bida ako eheheh.

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