tomorrow’s post today

by uzwi

A draft of tomorrow’s post escaped into the wild when I pressed the wrong button, & was frozen in the headlamps of the careering world wide web, how embarrassing. So it might as well be tomorrow’s post today–

See, this is part of what I meant here, & what I meant about bad pub landscapes here: for god’s sake, let us be amateurs. Let us point & press & get accidental effects or just fuck up & sort of enjoy the result: because we are not “photographers”, all we are is people who got a camera. All we are is human beings trying to save a bit of our lives from time. What is the point of encouraging promateurism, except to open up paid masterclassing opportunities for professionals ? I’m already obsessive & knowing about my trade (though, god knows, I try not to be): so why the fuck would I want to waste even more nervous energy being obsessive & knowing about someone else’s ? The problem with experts is they just can’t stop broadcasting their knowledge. They know too much & they’re desperate to pass it on. Part of that is less down to enthusiasm than it seems. It is a darker desperation, an anxiety to make sure that all wisdom is received wisdom, to make sure that no one ever makes “the common error”, or “reinvents the wheel”. It reflects a deep fear of peer contempt: to make a mistake, to fail to receive the wisdom, to act as if you don’t know the score, is to feel a rush of shame so hot it might become psychically unmanageable.

Z Krishna reminded me the other day of Suzuki’s brilliant, “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few”. “Education” of the sort recommended here makes absolutely certain that everyone–even someone who isn’t actually doing the discipline–knows how few possibilities there are. Even inside a profession, knowing too much means everyone in chains, from the producer to the consumer. Grooming of young writers by a cadre of publishing professionals & promateurs (the latter basically parroting wisdom received from the former) is one reason why contemporary fiction has so little actual imaginative content.