Sunday, 8 March 2009

Incubating in the Warm Light of the Academy

I didn't think I would write so soon after the most recent apparaisal of a draft of the introductory chapter of my thesis. I wanted my writing to return to its quasi-authoritative academic tone, one more appropriate for a successful PhD completion and greater publishing potential. I began to wonder if writing this blog for nearly two years now has spoilt me vis-a-vis a career in academia. Why can't a text remain provisional? I understand that my thesis, my film, even my blog have to be 'about something'. But, and herein lies my most demonstrable attempt at writerly assertiveness - I think these 'abouts' are multi- and contextual. Yes, the Academy is progressive enough to encompass the lengths and depths of a particular set of texts or even an entire genre, but it remains uncomfortable with anything that is, by nature, transient. Why this resistance to the ephemeral?

It is 'certainly' my migrant-state that attracts me to transitory form(s). However, temporary residents the world over cannot wait to be 'permanent'. And those in a somewhat settled situation long to get out, to travel. I'm not condoning a gypsy-esque existence for all and sundry, or an experimental discourse for all kinds of writing. It would be mighty nice if the Hegemonic social and academic powers that be began to recognise transience as a healthy expression of thought and emotion rather than consider it a sign of weakness, or dimiss it as just another juvenile phase.

Although I'm still incubating, I will 'probably' continue writing. The cost of not writing is higher than the cost of writing provisionally. Whether (and when) this or any other text will see the light of day that is critical approval is difficult to gauge. But the light here is warm and ideal for a timely emergence from the apprenticeship, a tentative fluttering of slow-growing wings.