Today I began my first retyping project at Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head (I am retyping Portrait Of The Artist As Young Man a page at a time every day).
I also started to write a book manuscript with the word count constraint of 216 words (whatever amount I retyped, I will type in my book immediately after my retype session). Today started with a sort personal gibberish journal entry, but I’m interested to see what this method will bring out in me.
It took me about twenty minutes or so to type out today’s Joyce passage. I began it with a thought that had been replaying in my brain. Joyce was fluent in several languages, having taught himself basic Norwegian in order to write Ibsen a fan letter. I’m fluent in English, Spanish, and some basic French. Last night while riding home on my bike the thought popped up in my brain to learn German. I include that thought in today’s session.
A few have asked me why I didn’t choose Ulysses, my favourite and most influential of Joyce’s works. The point of this project is to expose myself to a different way of thinking about writing and I’ve never read Portrait of The Artist. This gives me a cleansed palate, so to speak.
Look for a review of Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing on this space in the near future. I’m still parsing what it has been doing to my brain these days. It’s hard for me to even elucidate my analysis in a coherent manner. I can say that Goldsmith may have just exposed me to a positive detriment.
I know that makes no sense, but as I approach the young age of forty next month, I have no time for sense.