Anne Imhof’s “Faust”: Weird and Not

Anne Imhof’s “Faust”, German’s 2017 entry at the Venice Bienalle, offers little on the surface, except the surface.
It’s more about the people watching than the performers – all the legs passing by.And the arms and hands. And then it is high above on a glass platform.

And that’s just weird.

Words VIII: Ambivalence

You think you know the meaning of ambivalence? Actually, probably not because it isn’t “disinterest”. It’s this: having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something.And you thought you knew that.

Writing Camp: Final Day at Kenyon

I learned a lot at my Kenyon College writing camp. I learned about when to use different forms of dialogue. I learned about revelations, voice and x and y. I learned about repetition. I learned to listen. Chris Tilghman is a lovely man. He guides with self-deprecating wisdom. He shares his soul in an easy, remarkable fashion. He and my colleagues – especially Caitlin Fitzpatrick, our writing fellow – buoyed my spirits, reminded me to be less of an ass and more a writer. Just listen.

The final lesson: Endings need to be surprising and yet inevitable. The writer needs to resolve things and have something else to say in the end. 

Writing Camp: Day Seven at Kenyon College

A writing guidebook doesn’t exist, and if did, it would confuse.

A story can’t be someone reflecting about their self. That’s boring. Same with the Uber Voice. Boring. The first person is interesting because it looks out at the world. The third person examines others in detail as well as, of course, the self. Seeing someone else through another’s eyes just might be the highest level of interiority. Omniscient first person, that’s the thing. Half of us are firsters. Half of us are thirders. In the end, first and third person is mere grammar. Boom, boom.

Writing Camp: Day Six at Kenyon College

Chris Tilghman, our adviser, has shared many words from poet, Jane Hirshfield:

The work of existence devours its own unfolding/ What dissolves will dissolve. There is no name for the thing you care about most.

Writing Camp: Day Five at Kenyon College

Camp is good. I’m learning:

a. Showing is an illusion of telling, because it’s all on the page.

b. Dramatizing consciousness is the thing.

c. You need to cut through the thicket. You’ve got to get there in the end.