Wednesday, 23 June 2010


A subject – ah there I am already. Where am I already? A subject I was going to, or probably going to say, I am in need of a subject. You can’t just start writing without a subject. But done to death you might and even maybe should be thinking; writing about the lack of a subject - spare us. If I had set out to be a lackey of the modern . . . accepting the unlikeliness, and stupidity of the phrase, ‘lackey of the modern’, who the hell says that? . . . but if I had set out to be a lackey of the modern – letting it stand – that’s exactly the kind of thing I’d have done, started writing about the lack of a subject and that’s my subject.

But anyway the gist of all or most of the above must have very early on flashed through your mind, but if it did and was accepted as the uncriticised unquestioned truth then I'd be wronged for that it is not the direction at all I was going in, the writing about the lack of a subject, or even if it was where I was traveling then I would surely have tailed off, ashamed at having gone to the well and turning out those dried-up slops, though perhaps slops shouldn’t be dried-up, but in any case muck and not even original muck, instead well-trodden muck, the kind of muck others step around scornfully, and if in company pointing and commenting with a sneer at the muck, prompting laughter.

But as said that’s not where I was going, the lack of a subject being my subject, at least not if something came to mind saving me the going and subsequent abandoning of the ongoing. If somebody else was to head off there, and in his innocence is amazed and delighted with himself and the frontiers he’s opening up in the heading, imagines himself a trailblazer . . . well off with him, I hope he enjoys himself. I’d not begrudge him his happiness . . . admittedly his most likely short-lived happiness - for in the near future when he presents his writings to whoever these things are presented, restraining his pride and still smouldering excitement, strangely - to him-  he meets with derision, perhaps a civilized cool derision at first but still enough for him to know it’s derision, and as if that isn't enough the derision doesn’t stop there but spreads and goes on spreading until finally he’s even being laughed at openly by strangers out on the uneducated street. Or at least he thinks he is, he hears laughter, he's grown so sensitive he thinks it's directed at him. He decides, he's bound to, the early intoxications are far outweighed, and certainly outlived, by this later shame.

But enough of this wandering hypothesis - though it’s easy to say ‘enough of this’ when I’m after exhausting my interest in it in any case – but to try and put a bit of a lid on the wandering otherwise I’ll never get remotely near where I was trying to get to. Not that I'll pretend to be much in the way of confident about the getting there - for the thought was in my head so amusing, subtle, and clever, but it often turns out that this very subtlety is itself the very difficulty. These such thoughts are so delicate that when you try to take hold of one, bring it out to the public world, it crumbles to dust. Instead of subtlety and delicacy you’ve got a little grey heap of drabness.

Though who knows, maybe it was really just drabness all along. You have to be wary of these philosophies, they end up justifying anything, even lack of talent. ‘My failure to produce great art is not failure at all. It is instead a triumph . . .’ - followed by the reason, no doubt embodying some great truth.

But a subject so, I was saying, in spite of the warning above. Ah, but which subject? Yes, yes, I know you think in spite of everything this it turns out is exactly that well-trodden etc I was on about earlier, but no, give me a chance . . . what subject? There’s more than one subject. There’s all kinds of subjects, and this could all just be one of them . . . but no, that’s not it either, or not just it. There could be a human subject and that’s our subject, no not the subject of the human but specifically a human subject, the one beneath a monarch and that subject could be our subject. . . .

But this is even worse than I thought . . . drab, endlessly drab. But I swear, in my head it was brilliant.

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