Sunday, November 15, 2009

"To Startle Words Back Into the Air"

It's just the words, reverse transcription. Thinking about it. Something I can't help doing. Writing began with the effort to record speech. All writing is an attempt to fix intangibles--thought, speech, what the eye observes--fixed on clay tablets, in stone, on paper. Writers capture. We playwrights on the other hand write or rather "wright" to set these free again. Not inscribing, not de-scribing but... ex-scribing (?)... "W-R-I-G-H-T," that archaism, because it's something earlier we do, cruder, something one does with one's mitts, one's paws. To claw words up...! To startle words back into the air again, to...evanesce. It is...unwriting, to do it is to die, yes, but. A lively form of doom.

from "Reverse Transcription: Six Playwrights Bury a Seventh," by Tony Kushner
Posted because I had a great time at Playwrights' Pub Night yesterday hanging out with other people who practice this strange métier... and because tonight I am going to see the Kushner one-acts at Berkeley Rep!

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