Friday, June 17, 2011

Soft as Chalk

I used to love the feel of this language, how it pawed like dogs and made me dream of Orgonon – a fathomless, magnetic field of iron and lodestone. It was the language of my desolate childhood fantasy, the mother tongue of Annie Wilkins and her devious pack of kin and concubines. It was a language of play and ploy, a means to mouth out the longings and desires of a certain protagonist, whose life and actions were relentlessly surrounded by quotation marks. Years later, I would discover myself in various, uncomfortable positions, having an endless, soft-spoken monologue, taking comfort in this language of nautical nuns and Easter-named cats.

My first blog was written in English, under a pen name stolen from Vonnegut. My language was clumsy and awkward, and before long, I was determined to retract to writing in my mother tongue. Or perhaps, to do it justice, it was another beginning in the vast and challenging process of thinking and writing. The blog title was a reference to Angela Carter and her wolves or, rather, to the emancipated Red Riding Hood figure in Carter's fairytale of sexual desire and womanhood. Yet again, I appear to be prone to favour animal names, calling my scrapbook or log – well, Bear. A female animal with diluvian shoulders and a life's-worth of hunger, stepping clear of the insatiable shadow.

I'd like to think of my writing in terms of courtship. A taste of the treasured language, a mouthful of bees.

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