Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

In and out

Increasingly I find if go to a talk or a reading and it doesn’t engage me I experience a kind of claustrophobia, which results in a desire to both get out and stay put and suffer, lest it might improve. This is a relatively recent experience. Age, bhfeidir?

The trouble with this, is it’s an acutely uncomfortable and vexing experience. The vexation I don’t mind. I find it quite beneficial creatively to be vexed (as playwright Tom Murphy would say ‘what gets me mad gets me going’) .  Sometimes, like any traffic, the discussion will give way to something curious and then I am glad to have endured the discomfort, but if it doesn’t it’s essentially like being trapped down a mine and when you surface you’ve the feeling you lost two weeks in a pointless pursuit.  It can take hours to recover from the discombobulation that ensues and then you’ve to excavate the vexation.

At today’s talk, (hosted by Artspeak) which I was attracted to by a bunch of sentences, that offered an idea that I longed to learn more about, and  I wanted to be possible.  (Along the lines of overthrowing the editing process) However reading about something can sometimes be more compelling than listening to people rambling about the thing because in reading you’ve something tangible — text — but in the arch of ramble — the text, the entity disappears and it’s dilutes into “what we’re (creators) about,” and concepts floating about the room like a bunch of poorly flung paper airplanes.

I sought further clarification from one of the speakers. What I thought was happening in this work (it’s creation) based on the sentences I read, may not be actually happening, so it’s safe to say the thing that attracted me may not have happened yet. From my understanding – or misunderstanding –I thought they were pioneering a kind of spontaneous literature that did not engage in any editing process. I was excited by this idea that what was produced in a moment, was of that moment and could stand for it with no requirement beyond being of that moment and would be accepted as that, without ambition to be “completed” in a whole external process (editing, spell checking, clipping, clopping, chipping, chopping).

Perhaps it was the spirit that drove the enterprise that attracted me. Or perhaps in my excitement that such a thing might exist and work … I constructed its fictional existence and then when I sat in the room was disappointed I couldn’t recognize it.

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