On hating writing

On hating writing

Kim Fabricius has a nice piece on writing in a little comment to a recent discussion on F&T about the way Barth changed as he was writing his dogmatics and a famous remark from Foucault concerning writing:

"I hate writing. I hate it because it is arduous and I am lazy. I hate it because it is terrifying - it threatens my identity - and I am a coward. I hate it because it makes me think - and because I don't know what I think until I write it. I hate it because whatever I write I will have to unwrite, even to rewrite. I hate it because what I write will inevitably contain, minimally, a fair amount of bullshit. I hate it because some people don't have a nose for bullshit and might mistake faeces for roses. I hate it because what I write may be taken down in evidence and used against me in court - and I don't mean by the thought and morality police. I hate it because impelling it, willy-nilly, are the sins of vanity and pride. I hate it because it is often a self-deluded attempt at originality, or a self-serving excuse for inaction, or a self-righteous exercise in works-righteousness, as if writing could be redemptive - 'Can poets,' asked Auden, '(can men in television) / Be saved?' The only reason why I write is because I cannot not write, because I am a recovering writer - and because it's my job, if not my vocation. Because of the responsibility and the danger of it, I try to be careful. I'd try to be humble too, but if you try to be humble one thing you will never be is - humble. Any thrill, let alone joy, in writing are a mercy. Thankfully, God is very merciful."

Thanks Kim, you made my day!

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Av Bengt Rasmusson

Bengt Rasmusson är teolog, förläggare och mediakonsult.

Bengt Rasmusson is a theologian, publisher and a media consultant.