The pleasure of writing

A reflection journal: I didn’t know people did this any more. I think this is delightful:

This blog is meant to be primarily a reading journal. I think of it in a pretty old-fashioned way, based on the “dialectical journal”s I had to write as a high school student, carefully drawing a line down the middle of the pages in spiral-bound notebooks and copying out short quotations from novels on the left hand side, then writing endlessly naive comments of my own on the right. Since I can’t figure out how the hell to make two columns in an online format without learning too much code, this blog will proceed in a more linear fashion: quotations and then my comments follow.

And this leads to:

‘Does there exist a pleasure in writing? I don’t know. One thing is certain, that there is, I think, a very strong obligation to write. I don’t really know where this obligation to write comes from … You are made aware of it in a number of different ways. For example, by the fact that you feel extremely anxious and tense when you haven’t done your daily page of writing. In writing this page you give yourself and your existence a kind of absolution. This absolution is indispensable for the happiness of the day… How is it that that this gesture which is so vain, so fictitious, so narcissistic, so turned in on itself and which consists of sitting down every morning at one’s desk and scrawling over a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction on the rest of the day?’ Michel Foucault, (1969) ‘Interview with Claude Bonnefoy’, Unpublished typescript, IMEC B14, pp. 29-30.


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