Who I Am and Why I Write
Telloc, 21 November 1995
My very dear and beloved soul-mate P-M, I have toiled long before reaching this point. A few days and nights ago, or a couple (in the Mallorcan sense), I was trying to thread together a few strings of words to respond to questions you are putting to me almost without knowing you're doing it and that put me on edge because I don't know how to answer them. Among them, the one that bothers me is the one you insinuate almost as if you are reproaching me for it: Why do you write? Before picking up my Montblanc and the Indian handcrafted paper that Oscar Pujol -my wise and poetic friend who is putting together a Sanskrit-Catalan dictionary- brought me from Benares, and jotting down the first few words, I unsuccessfully tried to put on El lado más bestia de la vida (Take a Walk on the Wild Side), my old friend Lou Reed, my new friend Albert Pla! The record player has only let me hear a Lluís Llach, his voice painted with all the colours of Porrera and set to music with scenographic sounds where "Els masos cauen" (Farmhouses Fall) and "Europa creix sobre els vostres morts mercadejats sense vergonya" (Europe shamelessly grows over your bartered dead). When Lluís was reciting to me his "passen els núvols talment com antics vaixells/roden món/greus i misteriosos/van cap a Sarajevomathausen..." (clouds go by just like old ships/ sail the world/ mysterious and grave/ heading for Sarajevomauthausen ...) you came in all of a-flurry, P-M of my soul, and told me that now they have peace in Yugoslavia. I followed you to look at the telly and with contained joy saw Clinton giving all the details of how, this autumn Tuesday, the Serbs, Bosnians and Croats have signed the Peace Agreement in Dayton (Ohio), which has put an end to a war that has lasted four years and murdered two hundred and fifty thousand people, in particular members of a defenceless civil society.
To cap it all, yesterday, you ask me, just like that, to write a few words to explain to you my obsession with writing. I said that you ask the question and you answered it. You looked at me as if you found that strange. You know that we dwell between crusted walls where I would like to paint the simplest and most seductive graffiti that that come and go in my head in an exercise of reading and thinking with all sorts of pathways and vice-versas. I think you're going to tell me that I'm mixing up the shadows of words to make lights that are sometimes black. Yes, I'm trying to construct a minor literary oeuvre with the strong-box of the words of the Catalan clans (that have almost got to be, with the new IEC dictionary, a hyper-data bank), and you know that I am a lover of the mega-millionaire ways of speaking of the polyphonies of the different Catalanesque geographical and cultural zones and that I try to produce some kind of stuttering with the blend of letters and senses that would be expressed by a couple (once again in the Mallorcan sense) of literary-minded pieces of music that entertain humans and give them the pleasures of enjoyment. You will say, lucid and severe, P-M, that I've begun to rave, without being afraid that this is one of the few skills I practise. Making my fingers fly full of letters in pursuit of frail and beautiful forms. You will respond that you know that beauty is terrible and that every beautiful act has a price. You spend too much time listening to the mass media and especially its audiovisual forms. Yes, I know you think Internet is crude and that living in digital is not your forte. But it wasn't long ago that you were reading to me words of Gilles Deleuze, when he said the last so bestially human "no", which you said could be applied to some of my "things". I find it incredible that you call my writings "things". And you read, "Faire du nouveau en littérature, c'est faire bégayer la langue, c'est-à-dire la minorer, tant il est vrai que les grans écrivains inventent un usage mineur de la langue majeur dans laquelles ils s'expriment. Écrire, c'est dérégler, déréglementer le langage, lui faire suivre des lignes de sorcière." Like the bolt of lightning finds the head that will stop it and gather it in, a shining light has made me see that much of my work of writing has but one passion: making of an apprenticeship of the letter and its practice in conscientious productions of Literature & Sons, an art of living. Maybe it is thanks to this basic idea through which you will be able, beloved P-M, to glimpse me like somebody peeping through Venetian blinds. I live, and kiss me after I tell you this, in a state of intimate dissatisfaction, of acute self-ignorance and loss of identity. This is why I want to use the language, play tricks with it, without the least illusion. There are hours when I don't like writing and others when it is a fount of almost physiological pleasures. I feel omnisexual and it is through the letter that I can quest in territories of sexes that really excite me. Continue reading...