Writing Not Yet Thought

cisoux_croppedOn Wednesday, September 9, I was one of a few fortunate people to have a ticket to the screening of Adrian Heathfield’s Writing Not Yet Thought – a conversation with Helene Cixous. For nearly an hour, I was spellbound by the discussion generously shared by this eminent French thinker, writer, educator and theatre maker. A theorist I came across in the 90s during my undergraduate studies, Cixous has sparked many ideas for me that seem to work with my 2016 study tour. Not to be taken lightly, but rather sipped and savoured, are several points

We should write as we dream; we should even try and write, we should all do it for ourselves, it’s very healthy, because it’s the only place where we never lie. At night we don’t lie. Now if we think that our whole lives are built on lying-they are strange buildings-we should try and write as our dreams teach us; shamelessly, fearlessly, and by facing what is inside very human being-sheer violence, disgust, terror, shit, invention, poetry. In our dreams we are criminals; we kill, and we kill with a lot of enjoyment. But we are also the happiest people on earth; we make love as we never make love in life.

This quote represents an interesting moment from the film that I couldn’t quite capture. Here are other ideas and fleeting moments scribbled in the dark as I watched:

  • writing is de-selfing         unknowing
  • all situations of creating are acts of opening oneself
  • echoing you – pre-conditional beings
  • writing is otherness – I other myself or nothing happens
  • hearing attention is pre-determined to different muses
  • ideas are arriving – that’s creation
  • a type of practise shaped in language
  • looking at painting is as if I am looking at his thought steps
  • immediately sifting ideas for suitable shape or sentence – that is the mystery
  • a relationship between speech and the poetic
  • writing is a faithful tool start with emotion – make a halt
  • looking closely – bending over – trying to decipher that second between two seconds
  • a spark – but what sparks that event
  • writers have all space – not reliant on setting
  • the infinite is restrained or bordered
  • split keyhole on life – sparks of life
  • writing is an inspiration – sparks of thinking that is not yet thought – it will become thought eg. my dreams – compelling myself as subject
  • they are geni – when a dream is performing – notes – flickers – could write on the sheet
  • writing is always coming and never arrives
  • you’re always other so never yourself – that other signature
  • writing that has the spirit to be without recourse
  • my books can’t be adapted to classically thought cinema
  • subterraneously writing
  • writing happens in the regions of the soul
  • where you sit or stand in theatre, you see something different – so many possibilities – you choose as a spectator
  • night is visible and day is invisible (two cats: dark one seen and the other remained hidden)

And so when you have lost everything, no more roads, no direction, no fixed signs, no ground, no thoughts able to resist other thoughts, when you are lost, beside yourself, and you continue getting lost, when you become the panicky movement of getting lost, then, that’s when, where you are unwoven weft, flesh that lets strangeness come through, defenseless being, without resistance, without batten, without skin, inundated with otherness, it’s in these breathless times that writings traverse you, songs of an unheard-of purity flow through you, addressed to no one, they well up, surge forth, from the throats of your unknown inhabitants, these are the cries that death and life hurl in their combat.

Coming to Writing and Other Essays

Watch an extract here Writing Not Yet Thought

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