Get a Grip!

For some time now I have been worried that the fictional text I’m working on will turn into poetry. Worried because I know next to nothing about poetry: I do not know how to read it, and I know even less how to write it!

Today, reading my piece (20 short pages) aloud to a friend, the text suddenly presented itself as a play …


I really have no idea whose in control here – it certainly isn’t me – .

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Caroline says:

    That’s interesting. I think things I’ve written so far have often moved away from my initial intention but not genre wise. Really interesting.

    1. Sigrun says:

      You know, as a critic I had a pretty set frame for my work, now things are really different. I do enjoy it, most of the time, even if things get rather complicated – . Its strange to be so insecure!

  2. Harold Rhenisch says:

    Well, that’s brilliant. I traveled the via regia through Germany from west to east and then two years later from east to west, and learned that plays are a fantastic way of presenting a journey like that, through a tapestry landscape, through both time and space, and have the singular advantage that the individual identity of the speaker gets broken up into dozens of characters. It’s liberating, and allows for non-linear narrative. The “I” was an invention. Known are the date, who was there, where it was done, and why. That the rest of us are using it is a function of a romantic takeover of a scientific tool. It is, however, not good for all purposes, and, as you point out, not good when you need to give the world or the text control. Hurray for your play! Besides, they’re so much fun. Now I have a long travel book that is like a play, scripted for the page. And you, what do you have? Beckett? Peter Weiss, maybe?

    1. Sigrun says:

      Very encouraging – Thank you!

      FUN! Yes! – Playing around with voices is such a great challenge!

      I read a lot of Beckett years ago, I did my MA on his Trilogy, I had no idea he would return in this way, but it seems he has!

      I’m spending my weekend in company with Rilke’s “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge”. What he has to do with my current situation I do not know – yet…
      But anyways, I love the opening lines of the work:
      This, then, is where people come to live; I’d have thought it more of a place to die.

      1. Harold Rhenisch says:

        Ah, Brigge. If you find it too romantic or even obscure, might I suggest as an antidote the late French poems, which are all about the Valais, and are very direct and clear, like the Valais light? Poems of love rather than longing, should that be a part of your journey into the unknown. They are readable with even the most basic of French (like mine).

  3. A play! That’s a twist…and I love the photo (saw Krapp’s Last Tape in NYC many years ago, good production).

    1. Sigrun says:

      Its turning & twisting a lot this text, I try to get a grip – but its not easy!
      I came to think of Krapp when it became clear to me that one of the voices in my text sounded as if it was recorded somewhere else – .
      Today I have been reading Ruefle & John Cage, somehow they give me hope, maybe its because they both are rater “absurd” – ?

      1. I don’t think of Ruelfe as absurd! Or maybe the translation of the word has different connotations? –though I do agree Cage liked to reach for the absurd.

      2. Sigrun says:

        The absurd moments in Ruefle, as I see it, are concentrated around her play with logic, especially in the ways she is composing her text pieces in “Madness, Rack & Honey”

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