sightline

Landscape was the resource of my childhood. I love the light on the world, the look of things. I love any writer who has a sightline on that, even Kipling. To Yeats or Arthur Machen the light on the landscape was a promise of immanence, something more than the world; whereas to Robert Macfarlane the light on the landscape is enough. It doesn’t need to imply anything (although he talks of “gateways”). We were made to be in light and air. I get excited by other landscapes but I like Britain best. Seaside, moors, mountains, fields. It’s a strength to be able to stand for an hour, watch the light and shadow on the water, let the anger drain away, not be the author of something like Light.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “sightline

  1. Dave

    “…let the anger drain away…”

    Great how that works, isn’t it?

  2. uzwi

    Hi Mia, yes, him. Hi Dave, sometimes it takes longer than an hour.

  3. Dave

    Yeah, sometimes it takes me many miles and thousands of feet of elevation gain/loss. I’m working on that though…

  4. Light isn’t a bad egg… I have to resist an impulse to buy a copy wherever I see it, despite the fact I already have two editions sitting on a shelf, and end up chiding myself for not sharing.

    Whatever your reasons are for feeling this about your novel, an author’s worst critic is himself, as you probably already know intimately.

    When I write for an audience, I struggle with the nagging doubt that doing so is a monumental arrogance of sorts, for myself to write something then say: Here. This is good enough, for minds outside of mine! Chew on it, digest.

  5. uzwi

    Hi zxvasdf. I wasn’t regretting Light or knocking it. Only coaching myself, really, for the next book. Light & Nova Swing use all the wrong tools for what I want to do now. I need to move on & that can be quite difficult.

    But many thanks for your support.

  6. Recently I have been trying to make paintings that are not as the ones before. I don’t mean technically but inherently. I’m not too concerned about the construction material…more about the effect. So I find it interesting that you feel the tools themselves must be relinquished, and, I assume, new ones created. found?
    Of course if I were to switch mediums all that would change. Perhaps that is more what you mean…that it is a shift in universes where the science is different, even though you might still use words.

  7. uzwi

    Perhaps not tools, perhaps arrangements of internal structures–personality structures–which have to be reconfigured ? (But perhaps attitudes are tools ? In a way, a different way of seeing is, at some level, not content but mechanism–or mechanism as well as content.) Then at a different level, those new configurations need a different kind of sentence, say, or a different relationship between large masses in the text, or whatever, if they’re to make themselves felt. It might be only a statistical shift, a long way back from–a long way prior to–the finished text. It might be some huge visible philosophical shift.

    I find it hard, anyway, to say This is content and this is the tool I need to express it. I’m more likely to say, This is how I feel now, so I’m obviously not writing x kind of book but y kind of book.

    So am I saying that the book is a tool too, which I use to write a different me ? Do you ever feel anything like that ?

    How are these new paintings going ?

  8. Robert

    “So am I saying that the book is a tool too, which I use to write a different me ? Do you ever feel anything like that ?”

    Every time I sit down in front of the keyboard…

  9. …the new paintings are a struggle…not so much the actual application of paint, but the attempt to make a picture that does something other than I did before. I find that I am thinking about the imagery that comes easily long and hard. I am critical in a way that I would have scoffed at before. Although I am mostly about “feel” I am now also about what the viewer will feel. That has become important in a way that tells me I have to change, and that is radically uncomfortable. Fortunately the act of painting itself is still blissfully in the zone.
    And I guess that painting oneself into a corner and then doing a Harold and the Purple Crayon is always what must happen.