June 14th, 2011 / 2:56 am
Behind the Scenes & Craft Notes & Excerpts

Friederike Mayröcker and some scattered thoughts on writing spaces

Friederike Mayröcker

Look at this clutter. Kind of glorious, no?

Is a messy mind the mark of a good writer or is that something dysfunctional people tell themselves in order to find comfort in the heaps of scattered pages? What is your writing space like? I don’t really have one, as I’m always on the move these days. I will say that it’s hard for me to sit at a desk. The closest I ever came to incorporating a desk into my erratic work routine was when I would go to IHOP in the middle of the night and stay until morning downing cup after cup of decaff coffee while scribbling in my notebook all bleary-eyed and delirious. But if it were socially sanctioned, I probably would have sat on the IHOP floor. Mostly I do everything while lying down in my invisible bed or sitting on the floor, perhaps because I am lazy…? I don’t believe in furniture. Probably am just undomesticated, feral. At a writing residency last year I had a normal room with a desk and a bed. And what did I do? Pulled the mattress onto the floor and probably didn’t sit at the desk once.

“I MUST FORGET EVERYTHING in order to finish this work, you have to get yourself in harness, no enmeshed, once you get involved in a writing project a writing diktat, there is no going back, or everything will be ruined, isn’t that right, maybe it’s getting your claw hooked into the robe of language, you attach yourself, you get snared, you get snagged in language in the MATERIAL in the TEXTURE, etc., and in the same way language seems to get hooked, attached, it hooks its claws into us the moment we acquiesce, so, we lead we guide each other, in equal measure . . .”
–Friederike Mayröcker, brütt, or The Sighing Gardens


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