the discipline of indiscipline

There's some kind of trade-off operating when you (= I) write extended (prose) works. The attention given to the instant, the words surfacing moment by moment on the floating world of the screen, is obsessive if not total; that which is given to the big picture, the larger work, the whole thing is ... not negligible so much as occluded. You (= I) can't afford to look at it because, although it does have a notional existence, it isn't actual until the sentences (= words surfacing moment by moment) add up to make it so. It is the shadow stalking the substance unfolding in that dull and repetitive labour, which is nevertheless relieved by glimpses and intimations. When (= if) the whole exists, it will be made up of these glimpses, those intimations, this labour, that substance, yet it will continue to be, beyond all particulars, the shadow that loomed above the absurdities and heroics of your (= my) attempt. I have bracketed (you) and (I) not simply for rhetorical purposes but also because whatever may be said of a writer is also said of a reader, although (time) (reading) (and) (writing) (is) usually scaled differently.

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