Diary 2020-2022, part IV

Wednesday, April 15

Yesterday I interrupted my thoughts and thank god. I start again:

The point was to say that maybe my current crisis – which started long ago, predates the pandemic and dates back to after my graduation – is actually a vocational crisis that I would have had to face at some point, anyway.

I no longer believe in literature? I think I don’t. At least not like I used to. But what is dying is actually a particular vision of literature.

Since the core of my identity, or, in other words, since the narrative that is my past is structured precisely around literary «landmarks,» it is only logical that my ever-hungry ego would understand that «calling» solely on the basis of how it could provide it with the food it needs.

In English: I saw literature as a passage to recognition.

A ticking bomb since due to one thing (laziness, a dwindling attention span, lack of discipline) or the other (anxiety, self-pity) I don’t read enough and I don’t write enough. So at 27, almost 28, I haven’t written anything of value and I’ve read very little.

I must have done something terribly wrong since literature, which once (perhaps only in my childhood and sporadically later) was a pleasure, has become a duty always postponed and therefore a spotlight of guilt shining on me, a debt that hangs over me like a cloud made of granite falling eternally on my shoulders.

And the thing is, I think it’s suddenly clear to me that the mission was doomed from the start because its motivation was wrong.

Literature doesn’t hold the same place in society it held perhaps until the 1980s. And even less so when compared to what it was 100, 200 years ago. It is now hyper-fragmented into niches, and however loud, eloquent, or brilliant the voices, no matter how deserving, their pulpits are low and their congregations small.

And there is too much, too much.

Perhaps the art of the future will be transmedial, fractured, multiple; it will attack many senses at once and fully accept its ephemeral condition.

Or maybe not. Perhaps literature will continue thanks to its simplicity. It is never advisable to bet everything on a novelty.

(Fundamental mystery: How to experiment without at the same time being the bore who thinks he’s opening the doors to the future, blind to the dead end in front of him?).

It would be good perhaps, or even absolutely necessary, to throw myself into a totally radical idea: I abandon my fate for now. I jump off the ledge.

I must rediscover my love, my need for literature; my reading pleasure and my calling as a writer. I must have the courage to accept the risk of realizing that perhaps everything was a simulacrum, or an authentic love that’s long dead and that I refuse to let go of like of a ghost for fear of disappearing myself.

Thursday April 16, 2020

Disjointed thoughts I had yesterday:

Read to understand the world and understand myself.

Writing as therapy. (Terribly said, commonplace, but it is what it is).

Writing as exploration.

Write to save myself, not to save others.

Write, but not like someone trying to turn on a light, but rather like someone struggling to keep a candle lit while walking through a gale.

Friday April 17, 2020

Once again I have lost sight of the answer. Yesterday I felt it with me, recovered, but like a cat it jumped off my lap this morning and went for a walk.