15 October 2011

Who am I writing for?

Sometimes this is a good question. I have often wondered when I do my Matins, my morning writing for 30 minutes (too often they turn out to be Nones or Vespers). It is a fast write of stream of consciousness thoughts. In fact sometimes they are not so much thoughts as simply whatever my hand does - kinetic thought. Yet I always end them with "That's all for today, folks." That is the way I end most of my lectures but why do I use it for my writings? The ones that are supposed to be virtually unconscious and for no one? I started doing it years ago for no reason I was aware of.

Joseph O'Neill explained it in The Atlantic last month, to my delight. We write "to find respite from the intellectually and morally chaotic buffoon who goes through the world minute by minute, and to bring into being that better, more coherent human entity known as the author."

There are always two people, the 'folks', reading what I write. Me the author and me the reader. They aren't exactly the same person.

though they are close friends.

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