Some of My Philosophy/Psychology of Writing

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Some of My Philosophy/Psychology of Writing

Postby RonPrice » Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:28 pm

Writing became a psychological necessity for a complex set of reasons that I explain in my memoirs. I did not sacrifice other things; other things lost their previous charm or demand, their role and even responsibility in my life. I was able to express my emotions and at the same time give them form and control as a poet like Philip Larkin did; I was able to find relief from fears and anxieties as Sartre did in his literary work. Unlike Larkin, though, I do not have a fear of death nor his melancholy gloom; unlike Sartre I did not have his philosophy of atheism, his massive literary output nor his tendency to construct a series of personae to hide my real self and deal with a variety of correspondents. Still, I would not like to experience my final years in the way Jonathan Swift put it in accurately predicting his mental decay. When Swift was about 50 he remarked to the poet Edward Young when they were gazing at the withered crown of a tree: "I shall be like that tree, I shall die from the top."

One of autobiography’s principal tasks is to evade the absence par excellence: to omit the death of the autobiographer. One must be alive to write. So while death might linger over an autobiography, insofar as that autobiography is a factual work grounded in the events of its author’s life, written, of course, by its living author, it is obliged to omit the account of its author’s death. There is always something in the author’s life which exists beyond the autobiography; the moment beyond the moment the author stops writing; the author’s eventual death. To defer that post- autobiographical moment, and so to defer the moment of death, all that is required is that one keep writing.

My autobiographical deferral, for more than 2600 pages, seems
positively death-defying. But if the writing of the autobiography is an act of
death-defiance, so is my publication strategy. My autobiography was published in part beginning in 2004 on the internet. This publication sees the text to end with an author still writing in the first person and still in the present tense about my life. Anyone can read my autobiography written from the age of 60 onwards. For every one of the autobiography’s readers, the death of RonPrice has not yet occurred; my death has no presence in the text. It is necessarily and, for the first readers commemorating my life, no doubt glaringly, absent, at the same time as my death will render me absent from the world outside my autobiography. My autobiography is not just a flight from my own death, I do my best to avoid the deaths of others. My autobiography proclaims my pleasure for the event that celebrates this most ubiquitous of absences. I also record the death of others from time to time.
No matter how much we understand the dynamics of our situation, we still get hurt and feel exasperated. No matter how strong our beliefs they must face the tribunal of our experience as a whole and this process is a daily one. In that tribunal analysis gives us the grammar for our concepts. But analysis is faced with the conundrum that at each moment of life's becoming that moment escapes our attempts to comprehend it. Life swiftly passes us by and thinking about these moments often:

sicklies ‘o’er with the pale cast of thought
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

This autobiography is an attempt to deal with my life’s enterprizes of ‘great pitch and moment’ as well as much of my ‘pale cast of thought’....enough for now of this philosophizing.-Ron Price, Tasmania
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16 with several books published on the internet--and a Baha'i for 56 years(in 2015)
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Location: George Town Tasmania Australia

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