Monthly Archives: August 2013
In this next installment of the iUniverse author, John C. Woodcock’s blog series he starts to describe the emerging writing form or genre of his latest book, UR-image.
“One of the significant category breakdowns that is relevant to my articulating the “genre” of writing that this book is concerned with is that of the pair of opposites: doing and reflection. Within our modern structure of consciousness we consider these a pair of opposites. We can do something in life or reflect on something in life but not both at the same time.
In the kind of writing I am suggesting it seems that both happen simultaneously or something else happens that subsumes both within itself. I call this “happening” participation.
Participation with the background process of category breakdown is reflection and doing, yet neither. Thus, participation can be sharply distinguished from automatic writing where the writer’s consciousness plays no part. It is also different from having an experience and subsequently writing about that experience from memory. The writing that emerges from this participatory process therefore is a form (it’s probably too early to call it a genre) that embodies such category break downs (inner-outer, past-present-future, action-reflection, etc.)”
In Part 4 of this iUniverse blog series, author John C. Woodcock started to explain how the esteemed psychoanalyst and thinker, Carl Gustav Jung, has influenced his thinking and consequently his writing. Now we let John explain more about Jung and his influence.
“His written record of this journey is now published as The Red Book. Jung’s understanding of what he went through is complex and beyond the scope of this book, but we can touch on two aspects that are relevant here. On the one hand, after Jung emerged from his immersion in the “breakdown”, he returned to the categories of inner and outer and took up the question of how one could have anything to do with the other. For example, his theory of synchronicity is a sustained attempt to find a theoretical connection between inner events, say a dream, and a “coincidental” event in the outer world. On the other hand Jung seemed to accept the breakdown of categories (e. g. spatial and temporal categories that form the structure of modern consciousness) and to change accordingly in his self-definition. He thus became initiated by the experiences themselves into a new reality. This initiation gave Jung the power to form new conceptions appropriate to this reality and thus perceive new aspects of the real world. These new conceptions gave rise to his unique notion of soul as absolute interiority—a conception subsequently fully developed by Wolfgang Giegerich.
In the next part of this blog series iUniverse author John C. Woodcock continues to conceptualize his writing for us.
“This conception helped as I began to understand that the nature of my writing involved, not any genre or established craft, but a breakdown of such categories, and indeed, a breakdown of fundamental categories such as mechanical space and linear past, present, and future, those very categories that constitute the background of our stabilized modern structure of consciousness. This early formulation helped to distinguish what I had believed was merely a personal breakdown from an objective breakdown of categories occurring “in the background” of modern consciousness. This real process at present has no category with which to name and therefore grasp it, since it involves a breakdown in categories. I could use names like “fictive”, or “imaginative”, but these categories come loaded with a history that has deprived them of any truth or reality. In fact these words currently mean the opposite—not real, fantasy, entertainment only, falsity, etc.
But the phenomenology is conclusive. This process is real and has no referent outside itself. For example a breakdown of categories does not refer outside itself to a literal break down on a personal level or to the scale of a literal world catastrophe, although many people who are caught up in these background movements often make these misinterpretations. And yet, because this movement is the real background or the “within-ness” of the world, then it follows that madness or world catastrophe are not to be excluded after all.
How can we understand the necessity of this contradiction?”
In the third part of this iUniverse Blog series from author John C. Woodcock, he attempts to explain the concept of his writing style.
“I begin by paying attention to certain events occurring in the world: i.e. events characterized by qualities of the unusual, the unfamiliar, the startling; all of which obviously involve my psychological participation, and then I open myself up to these phenomena sufficiently for them to penetrate my consciousness, so that I begin to think the thought of the phenomenon, distinct from my thinking about them This process is in effect an initiation into another form of consciousness, the consciousness of the phenomenon. This finally can form the basis for new action in the world, action that is not simply a repeat of the known past but instead carries the germ of a new future. These actions always took me away from the security of the familiar into the unknown future.”
“Another reason to write concerns the craft of writing. An author may spend years developing and refining her craft, excelling at a genre for example. The author’s personality remains relevant here in the sense that the reader can recognize the signature of the literary work. For example, Isaac Asimov’s signature is readily discernible.
But there is yet another reason, one that has nothing to do with access to a body of knowledge or allegiance to an art form or genre of literature. I came across an example of this recently in a movie, Quills (2000), which in part concerns the penmanship of the Marquis de Sade. He is imprisoned in an attempt to control his literary output. But pen and ink are smuggled in; when these are removed, de Sade uses wine and blood as ink; when these are denied, he uses his own excrement to smear words on walls etc. We can see from this another reason to write is compulsion, with no regard for conventions, established genres, or anything else. The writer is seized!”