I am fascinated by the possibilities for a deeper stratum of truth, although please don’t ask me what I mean by truth, because nobody can answer that one. But, you see, we are creators. What I do is elevate the audience. I’m intensifying facts to such a degree that they start to get the glow of illumination for you. They acquire insight and poetry of an ecstatic nature, like medieval monks.
I’m not interested in myself. You should not expose the deepest recesses of your own soul. It doesn’t do anyone any good.
— Werner Herzog
Writing is my primary mode —
of not just expressing thought, but of thinking itself.
And, when attempting to write, I try to maintain the possibility of conceiving writing as scribere, scraching — onto, into, out of — tearing, opening; as an attempt at maintaining the question in what is inscribed.
And this relationship — between what is posited and the question that remains — is something that I am attempt explore intensely, to intensely explore.
Or, perhaps, it explores me —
and I writhe.
Do not hesitate to read the scars
that crater the textual body!
— Avital Ronell
One can only write in an attempt to write.
For, writing comes to one — from somewhere else, everywhere else, anywhere else; often-times in spite of one self. Hence, even as all writing can only happen through the self, one’s self is — and can only be — the medium through which it occurs. Where, the only thing one can do is attempt to respond, attend to, the possibility of writing itself.
By being in front of a keyboard, by having a notebook on me.
There is a whole art in unfurling a body of thought in such a way that one ends up passing it by without seeing it. This is the opposite of discourse, which lays out its findings and arguments and sentences itself to house arrest within the precincts of its own conclusions.
— Jean Baudrillard
For, all craft is a form of mimesis;
and often-times writing begins with reading something, anything. After-which I might be able to form a certain relationship between what is read and what is being written. But, it is not as if every mimesis is writing. And, even as there is no verifiable difference between a grammatically-correct sentence and a piece of writing, it is not as if one can know the difference until it is read.
However, being open to possibilities means that I have concede that I am never in control of my thoughts, my writing. Sometimes whatever is written is strange, unfamiliar, other, to me — a fragment of me.
One can never quite control how it will be read:
I can only write, read, and leave it to be read.
If you want to read, jump,
do not set yourself so much as a comma.
— Hélène Cixous
The only way I can attend to the craft whilst attempting to be open to possibilities is to remain distracted. This mostly takes the form of having multiple conversations — virtually or otherwise. And it is these very conversations which often open new relations that I were blind to.
The blindness in writing — of the reader, of meaning, of writing itself — is rather similar to that of love. Not divine love (which is always beyond us), nor erotic love (which seizes one completely), but philia; which comes from elsewhere, affects one, but also gives one the space to respond.
Hence, friendships are crucial to my writing.
It has taken me years to admit — perhaps only to myself — that I don’t care about writing something important, something significant. That my only hope, wish — dream even — is to write something beautiful.
— Jeremy Fernando
Friends have an effect on you, can sometimes open a question in you, might well affect you, unveil a new register, perhaps inseminate a thought in you, might even infect you — my writing is syphilitic.
Socrates had a daemon that whispered into his ear;
the Romans had a genius that struck them;
I have a bottle of gin
(ideally with a twist of lime).
Jeremy Fernando reads, and writes; and is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at The European Graduate School. He works in the intersections of literature, philosophy, and the media; and his, more than twenty, books include Reading Blindly, Living with Art, Writing Death, in fidelity, and resisting art. His writing has also been featured in magazines and journals such as Arte al Límite, Berfrois, CTheory, Full Bleed, Qui Parle, TimeOut, and VICE, amongst others; and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Serbian. Exploring other media has led him to film, music, and the visual arts; and his work has been exhibited in Seoul, Vienna, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He has been invited to perform a reading at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in September 2016; and in November 2018, to deliver a series of performance-talks at the 4th edition of the Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento in Buenos Aires. He is the general editor of both Delere Press and the thematic magazine One Imperative; and is a Lecturer & Fellow of Tembusu College at The National University of Singapore. Image: Céline Coderey, Misty Writings, 2019