Saying Things

I’ve been obsessed with language lately. No, I mean really obsessed, not the usual writerly preoccupation with words. Communication. Lack of communication. Perceptions. Expressions. Types of language. And so on and so on. Half a step away from scouring the library for books on linguistics to get at the mechanics.

Part of this obsession grew out of the poems I wrote in April. They quickly fell into a theme — communication. How we do it, how we fail at it, how we do it differently. And so on and on. Another part has been my reading. I blame/thank Samuel R. Delany for that. I ought to write him a letter, but I don’t know what I’d say. About Writing has been the most useful book on writing I’ve ever read. I’ve read others that I’ve enjoyed and could maybe kinda sorta apply to my own writing and my theory of writing, but Delany, while theoretically dissimilar, seems to think about a lot of things in ways much closer to my own than, say, Stephen King.

Thus obsession. I don’t know how far it will go, but once the rabid consumption of knowledge and ideas wears off, it will leave deep, deep scars. The kind of scars that give character.

What I’m learning and thinking about will inform to a large extent two current projects — 216 and Rosetta Stone. Both are about communication and language. A still nebulous project will also be affected — it’s supposedly about symbols and language and something like that. I don’t know — still nebulous. It could mutate. Will mutate.

I think a couple of incomplete things may benefit from this obsession as well. We’ll see. Of course, none of it matters if I never get the time to work on any of it, which, this week, I haven’t. I’ll try to make up for that this weekend.

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