First I read this by Walter Ong:

In contending with Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Derrida is of course quite right in rejecting the persuasion that writing is no more than incidental to the spoken word. But to try to construct a logic of writing without investigation in depth of the orality out of which writing emerged and in which writing is permanently and ineluctably grounded is to limit one's understanding, although it does produce at the same time effects that are brilliantly intriguing but also at time psychedelic, that is, due to sensory distortions....

then I pick up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and read this:

Nervousness seeps into terror as I anticipate what is to come. I could be dead, flat-out dead, in an hour. Not even. My fingers obsessively trace the hard little lump on my forearm where the woman injected the tracking device. I press on it, even though it hurts, I press on it so hard a small bruise begins to form....

This is my dilemma.


  1. You know, when I read Ong I didn't think he was *that* bad of a writer.

  2. It's not the writing style. It's the content. Thinking about the world instead of living it. Understanding narrative vs. losing yourself in a story... I'm still working out what the essentials of my dilemma are. I just know a dilemma exists.

  3. I do struggle with the two, with praxis and theory (to put it in theoretical terms). Have you read Gilead? I think that's a good synthesis. And Walker Percy. I do think that to understand the world is to live in it. Understanding narrative and losing yourself in a story are two different things, though.

  4. An email may be in order, now that I think about this a bit more.

  5. I am excited about the email. Especially since my dilemma is still mostly a feeling (since I like theory and I love story - it's not like I have a thoughtful conviction yet). This might mean I've gotten you to do all my thinking for me. :) Dangerous. I'm very good at doing that - relying on the processes of others.


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