I thought about the convention I’d recently discovered: TK. I’ve used different means of noting in my unfinished manuscripts places that needed information I did not have readily available or which required a passage I was not prepared to write. It is the sous rature initials of someone, a figure more than person, I fell in love with at the age of thirteen.
Since then (most notably the summer of 2004 when I finished the second half of my dissertation at 1501 Oxford Road), the fact that my feelings did not center around an actual person as much as around the concept of “the loved one” became more than intuitional deduction. When Phil explained to me that the person around whom I’d (consciously) built my fantasy of connection and loss considered me (the flesh-and-bone me) obsessed, well, I understood that she understood nothing about writing and writing’s being.
Writing for a muse is not writing to a person or even about a person, even if the muse figure is connected to that person. The real-world relationships affected by the writing are themselves distortions of purer ideational moments, domains, sequences. The real-world writer, me, is not coincident with the speaker of the writing. Depending on how one views such things, that being (known by some as the speaker of the enunciation) is either a purer or reduced instance of the real-world person identified as a writing’s “author.” I am not the entity spoken in the writing; I am the most proximate instance of that purer ideational form. There is a split in the subject where writing is. Flesh-and-bone exist in the realm of degree one; the entity inhabiting the space of the writing itself exists in the realm of degree zero. There is nothing to precede it.
Writing does not originate in the specificity of first love, romantic disillusion, or emotional loss, except as these things are themselves ideas. First degree phenomena insinuate into the zero degree space of writing but without causality. Writing is prior to the facts of history, belief, and emotion. I write as the proximal effect (nearest descendant) of something that is not me.