I’ve spent a long time now in an academic environment (2014 begins 18 years of identity transition for me from journalist to teacher/researcher). Nevertheless I’m still a writer (of many sorts and forms) and I still value, and want to hold in tension with the priorities of my work life now, the experience and creativity and unpredictability of writing. So when this commitment gets a bit wobbled — as it does with any encounter with journals, editors, peer reviewers, institutional bean counters, rating committees, etc — I often put myself into conversation again with artists, the people who are consumed by an alternate vision of what matters, so that it brings back into perspective the tightrope I’ve chosen to walk to hold onto this commitment. Continue reading “‘I have a desire to encounter’”
“Why have I written and, above all, for whom?” asks Pierre Bourdieu in the conclusion to Sketch for a Self-Analysis, and then answers: “Perhaps to discourage biographies and biographers, while providing, as a kind of professional point of honour, the information that I would have liked to find when I tried to understand the writers or artists of the past…” (page 111).
Yes, me too Pierre, I like to know who’s talking to me from the pages of a book, where they grew up, what school they went to, what kind of family, I particularly like to know the struggles they’ve gone through to work out their ideas. Continue reading “‘This is not an autobiography’”