what makes it possible to write is sometimes an extreme contrast/ bhanu kapil

“Knausgaard (up on the stage in aforementioned blue suit, sweating so hard his face turned a shade of bottle-green beneath the stage lights) said: "Though I love Munch, whose trust in the world was broken, and whose painting was an attempt to repair that trust, I myself am an innocent writer, or naive writer, whose trust in the world has not been broken and I write from that place."

(..)
Fast forward.   It is night.   I wake up at 4 a.m. and begin to write.   I have been dreaming.   The dreaming is a kind of knowing.  It is what I knew in the audience, where I was, like a steamed trout ready to be devoured by killers.   I knew that I was the very opposite of this tall man who had written so much about his body, and the body-life.  I thought suddenly of all the writers I know who write -- in extreme ways -- about the body and the body-life.  Their poetry and essays and novels have been downloaded into my soul like the copper pennies that are fed into a slot machine that then emits them, the flattened pennies, with an imprint or word or stamp.  I have been stamped.  I have read a hundred books.  In that moment, in the audience, I understood that I was a writer whose trust in the world had been broken.  Does trust have a gender?  I understood that all the writers I loved were like this too.  And why we write has a different history that perhaps all my life I have been trying to attend to, or recount.

And so I woke up, with a sound in my head.  The voice I have been waiting for.  Sat up.  And wrote twenty pages.

If he can do it, why can't I?

That's what I felt in the audience, the intense contrast.  And the sudden realization that I could do it too.

Why not us?

(..)
Because perhaps.

What makes it possible to write.

Is sometimes an extreme contrast.”

*
Bhanu Kapil, ‘What makes it possible to write is sometimes an extreme contrast’.

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