it’s a war

by uzwi

Wittgenstein: ‘We might say “every view has its charm”, but this would be wrong. What is true is that every view is significant for him who sees it so (but that does not mean “sees it as something other than it is”). And in this sense every view is equally significant.’ [Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough.]

Some places are easy to assign significance to. They give in to your first idea of them. Others are ready for you. They lie in ambush & while you’re trying to annexe the territory it’s annexing you. Long stretches of the East Sussex coast are like that. It would take months of stealthy occupation of Dungeness to find the way to break loose the qualities you want; longer to own & reassign them. It’s a war. For one thing–genius loci aside, if we can agree on that–local & quasi-local usage make a landscape. Each step you take has already been taken by someone else; each definition (& each way of making a definition) already belongs to someone else. & of course each sentence you produce is instantly in competition with every other piece of writing, filming or painting made along that coast.