January 30, 2009

Leaving Writing

"Writing: a way of leaving no space for death, of pushing back forgetfulness, of never letting oneself be surprised by the abyss. . . . Maybe I've always written for no other reason than to win grace from this countenance. Because of disappearance. To confront perpetually the mystery of the there-not there. The visible and the invisible. To fight against the law that says, 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above of that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.' Against the decree of blindness. I have often lost my sight; and I will never finish fashioning the graven image for myself. My writing watches. Eyes closed."
--Helene Cixous, "Coming to Writing"

Photos from Graeme Mitchell: John Updike, 1962; Graeme Mitchell, "Inside a Found Book."