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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