Writing a Story is Destructive

Noy Holland, “Unworded Intensities: An Interview with Noy Holland, Author of Bird” by Vincent Scarpa, Electric Literature 31 December 2015

I know I’ve felt it, feel it — the premonition of loss before I’ve set forth. Between grief and nothing I hope always to choose grief — I am borrowing, I think, from Faulkner here. The grief needn’t be grand or dramatic, just the simple grief of the almost right word. The persistence of failure. Fail better. Yes. To write a story, to set down the words, is destructive. It is never enough. It makes of something fluid something static. To stand up and live through something, to withstand the presence of the thing we want, is reckless and thrilling and heroic, and very quickly it is something like work. Yes? We can only in an instant be answered. But that instant, whoo boy, that ecstasy — this is what we work and live for. In my view, it’s what we get of God.

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