The Sublation Hypothesis

The reason for writing what I write is, I think, clarity: I’ve always been convinced that if I use the right words and the right amount of words, I will at some point understand whatever it is that I need to understand, and that time and practice will reveal all of the perfect and accurate sentences that make everything make sense.

So far, the results have not been brilliant: I can’t honestly affirm that the miles of text I’ve written, whether public or not, have put me any closer to understanding what hurts me, infuriates me or fascinates me and, with time and age, the premise that such perfect words and accurate sentences even exist at all is becoming increasingly suspect.

I do not write for the sake of the words themselves, in adoring awe of their phonetic harmony. It is very confusing to read an introspection that sounds like a random aggregation of fragments which the author thinks are beautiful enough on their own, and that, as such, they dispense with the need for any kind of structure, reasoning, message or even purpose, other than having the author being told how beautifully it is written. Yes, I am aware that poetry and many forms of stream of consciousness could maybe be interpreted that way, but poetry has its own rules: they do things differently there.

This confusion is not a judgement of pure literary value, seen that I have no authority or skill to judge it, but it is one of procedure: if the intention is personal scrutiny it seems to me that such introspection would be better served if there was some evidence of a structured inner dialogue, even if only somewhat.

Sadly what I often see is easily digestible, vaguely philosophical tripe, bits that you can ‘like’ or ‘republish’ without having to engage in any kind of intellectual activity which might help to elevate the mind from its comfortable state of insipid stupor: I suspect that most run away from sublation as if it were a character flaw too embarrassing to confess in public.

In their defence the prospect of being pulled into an infinite exercise in Fichtean dialectic, in permanent search of Aufhebung takes more time and effort than scribbling a few oh so beautiful words about “Love”, “Life” or “Purpose” (always capitalised) or the cause célèbre du jour, the bottom of this pit being obviously posting pictures of your cat as a sufficient statement of personal ethics or esthetics. I am not saying that it is wrong to do it, but rather that I can’t see the point of the exercise, possibly due to shortcomings of my own.

My only certainty is that I, for myself, need to write even if I’m not often particularly fond of it, less reaching for beautiful words than I am reaching for some kind of order.

For the record, I haven’t decided at some moment in my life that writing would be the better idea: the words themselves seem to have claimed me, before I even had a memory of them, and I have never discovered a way to escape them even if I usually want to. Frankly I’d sooner rather listen to music, or enjoy a good meal with friends, for instance, if only the words would leave me alone. But they don’t, they never do, ever. It’s a torrent that can’t be contained.

The reasons for this are, at least in part, obvious, and can be ascribed to the usual explanations: yes, I read, but most importantly I write, regardless of the value (literary or otherwise) it may have to others. I write here, on notebooks, on loose sheets of paper, on napkins, envelopes, restaurant receipts and anything that can be scribbled upon. It’s no mystery that writing lots makes you want to — or maybe need to — write more, recursive as that sounds.

I have no idea how I suddenly find myself painted into a corner, writing about why writing will help me understand writing, still dissecting words and sentences, still looking for the perfect and accurate ones, in a whole new maze of contrapuntal derivations.

What I do know is that if the only comment I elicit, from you, myself, or anyone else is any variation of “it’s beautifully written”, then I’ve failed.



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