Setting Part II

Natasa, who ran the translation workshop I was allowed to sit in on, sent me an email with a link regarding setting. I hope she doesn't mind my posting the email and link here (she wanted to post it herself, but didn't want to sign up for anything else new- for her, I'm removing the login issues, BUT I'm going to begin moderating so as to cut the ads out).

"Also, I'm here attaching the link I wanted to post as a comment to your funny "the writers-who- fetishize- their mise-en-scene where- the-good-stuff-will- happen" blogpost on The T-vedi Chronicles..."


The argument I'm trying to make is that setting isn't an issue of choice. I don't believe it is possible to create the proper environment for writing or any other artistic activity. This is what I suppose I mean by the fetishization of locale. There's a desire to set a desk in a proper place or sit in a certain type of chair, I suppose, but I think the desire to have THAT be somehow be necessary towards writing is ridiculous.

There's a desire for the mountains around you or the beach to serve as "inspiration." While I don't believe talent is something you're born with, I do believe that the desire to act is something you ought to have and not something you should expect to come out of the environment. I say this, of course, knowing full well that many rely on this. Joseph Ceravolo's introduction to Transmigration Solo is an example of how the location can be inspiring, but I suppose what interests me is that Ceravolo wasn't suddenly wanting to write as a result of being in Mexico: he was already writing and happened to be in Mexico where he was taken by the setting. Now, I argue partially in my Recovery Project piece on him in the Octopus #9, that Mexico is an influence on Ceravolo, but there's something to be said for feeling that the poems aren't about Mexico. I suppose my point to is that of expectation and anticipation: I don't believe Ceravolo expected to be inspired to write by where he was going. I think it just happened.

Writing, I believe, lacks a certain agency: there ought to be inner desire and external design on the work, rather than the whims of the setting.

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