félix guattari on writing (1972)

10/06/1972

I’m strapped to this journal. Grunt. Heave. Impression that the ship is going down. The furniture slides, the table legs wobble …

Writing so that I won’t die. Or so that I die otherwise. Sentences breaking up. Panting like for what. […]

You can explain everything away. I explain myself away. But to whom? You know … The question of the other. The other and time. I’m home kind of fucking around. Listening to my own words. Redundancy. Peepee poopoo. Things are so fucking weird! […]

Have to be accountable. Yield to arguments. What I feel like is just fucking around. Publish this diary for example. Say stupid shit. Barf out the fucking-around-o-maniacal schizo flow. Barter whatever for whoever wants to read it. Now that I’m turning into a salable name I can find an editor for sure […] Work the feed-back; write right into the real. But not just the professional readers’ real, “Quinzaine polemical” style. The close, hostile real. People around. Fuck shit up. The stakes greater than the oeuvre or they don’t attain it […]

Just setting up the terms of this project makes me feel better. My breathing is freed up by one notch. Intensities. A literary-desiring machine. […]

When it works I have a ton to spare, I don’t give a shit, I lose it as fast as it comes, and I get more. Active forgetting! What matters is interceding when it doesn’t work, when it spins off course, and the sentences are fucked up, and the words disintegrate, and the spelling is total mayhem. Strange feeling, when I was small, with some words. Their meaning would disappear all of a sudden. Panic. And I have to make a text out of that mess and it has to hold up: that is my fundamental schizo-analytic project. Reconstruct myself in the artifice of the text. Among other things, escape the multiple incessant dependencies on images incarnating the “that’s how it goes!”

Writing for nobody? Impossible. You fumble, you stop. I don’t even take the trouble of expressing myself so that when I reread myself I can understand whatever it was I was trying to say. Gilles will figure it out, he’ll work it through. […]

I tell myself I can’t take the plunge and leave this shit for publication because that would inconvenience Gilles. But really, though? I just need to cross out the passages he’s directly involved in. I’m hiding behind this argument so that I can let myself go again and just fucking float along. Even though when it comes to writing an article, I start over like twenty-five times!!

And this dance of anxiety …

From The Anti-Oedipus Papers, a set of notes and journal entries by Félix Guattari written while he and Gilles Deleuze were busy writing Anti-Oedipus together(1972) .Translated from the French by Stéphane Nadaud.

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