Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trade tricks

It must be the oldest trick in a writer's book: when you can't express your displeasure openly, fictionalize them, put them down in your novel.

Without a qualm, I'm thinking of incriminating someones like this in the prose piece I'm writing for the Sarai workshop. You'd cheer if you knew how nervous I was before it --

"For the past couple of years that I have thought of myself as a writer, poetry has come much more easily to me than prose. I like working with its elusiveness and its precision, its ability to transmute experiences into half-familiar, half-forgotten beings and landscapes. Using its devices, I can leave behind straightforward narration or discourse and explore the oblique. More and more I find my poetic voice reflecting undertones of my political engagement with feminism, but not, I believe, in an unsubtle or unpleasing fashion.

Being an avid reader of prose, I know it is possible to attain with it similar effects, right from metaphors and imagery to sound patterning. The form of the prose text does not impose limits on its aesthetics.

The limitation, then, is in my own head and practice. A writer should be able to override the externals of form and structure and I think it would be of great benefit to me to take a deep breath and venture into the territory of imaginative prose.

So then, I want to attend this workshop to counteract in me the anxiety engendered by, and to instill in me the discipline of, prose writing, in a supportive environment with peers..."

I'm quite pleased to have finished two pages to read tomorrow. To be continued. Short, but they're there and not half-bad.

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