Bleak Theology A post-punk counterweight to joy.

The Solitude of Writing.


In the writing process, there comes a threshold whereby the author enters a situation of solitude. This is not about sitting in a library alone or a cafe alone or their room alone. For true solitude comes when the writer understands themself to perceive, to understand their subject such that no one else can possibly comprehend it their particular way. Then, physical proximity is like unto the space between the Big Bang and the End of the Universe.

All the information and its arrangement and the relationships among and between and the force and inertia all through the self and lens and voice of a single individual now constructing the voices and actions and beings of everything else of that individual’s subject. That realization of solitude, of absolute loneliness is when that threshold is crossed.

And the author says to themself, “No one else can understand this. Not like this.” And from that point is the ache that comes with every key and pen stroke, ever sigh of imagination and frustration that builds a work for the reader, the reader that can never quite comprehend as the author, while the author deceives the reader to think that they, reading this author’s work, *gets* it. And can then go further.

Is this the Faustian bargain that each author is almost offered, the exchange of being understood at the cost of relinquishing their private possession of comprehension, of self-comprehension? Writing is a curse. A Sisyphusian torture that can only be aleviated by not writing, to suffer the pain of not writing, the agony of stasis. Yet, the Furies shall not allow it.

“Keep writing!” they cry. “Push your loneliness higher toward the surface of the world!” And there, as the writer watches the stone slip from their fingertips and roll back down that well-worn mountain, that most intimate Fury whispers, her nose lightly, warmly against the back of your ear, “No one is going to get it.” And down you go again, back to write your chapter, knowing well that when you finish it, it shall still never be ended.

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By Burke
Bleak Theology A post-punk counterweight to joy.


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