Why I want to write
“For the man of genius can only give birth to works which will not die by creating them in the image not of the mortal being that he is, but of the exemplum of mankind he bears within him. His thoughts are in some sense lent to him for his lifetime, of which they are the companions. On his death they return to mankind and instruct it.” MARCEL PROUST, Days of Reading
First, I would like to make a few clarifications.
I am not a recognized genius.
English is not even my first language and I am sure I do not excel on it, since I can still see question marks on people’s faces when I say something they didn’t understand, and didn’t dare to ask wtf I said, they just nod perplexed. I still choose to write in English because I live in New York, and whether I like it or not, this is the language my mind has been using lately to express my thoughts and feelings.
This is the first time I am writing to express myself and, even though I would love to be immortal, who wouldn’t?, I did not choose to write to instruct nobody but myself.
When I read that quote and I decided to buy the book, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish, as happened to me with other Proust’s books. I like Proust when I understand what he is writing, however, I found it tiresome to read so many details, it feels so slow. My current way of life doesn’t allow me to handle it, I am used to be receive everything fast, short, and simple. But I keep trying to read it because as you might have noticed, I also tend to diverge and I enjoy to read someone who notices life’s many shades and tones.
The first phrase that spoke out to me was “gave birth to works…” So far, my communication with the artistic world has only consisted on receiving: I read, I visit exhibitions, I see movies, I listen to music, I go to the ballet, I go to the theater. It is not as if I don’t create anything. I still talk to other people, I write letters to my loved ones, I sing when I am alone, I used to dance when I was drunk (now I only do it when I am being silly or go to zumba classes) -all these could count as some form of expression. But I cannot say I gave birth to anything.
As a matter of fact, the labels I have been carrying for the last years would describe me as the least creative person in the world. Three big ones: “infertile,” “dependent,” and “unemployed.” I don’t want to get too deep into this because I don’t want to describe myself that way anymore.
Instead, I choose to write. I want to give birth to something and in the process give birth to “the mankind I bear within me.” Like I said, I don’t believe that I am a genius, but I do believe that there is something inside everyone of us that connect us, something that we can all relate to, call it our true selves, our collective consciousnesses, or our inner mankind. I would like to try to approach it.