5. The Art of Disproportion

Every writer cre­ates a pat­tern from dis­pro­por­tions. The pro­por­tion­ate is that checker­board of nights and days within which our lives are gov­erned, the rou­tine of sleep, how you part your hair, when you check for your mail, the trips to the shop that you make when bread or veg­eta­bles run out, the peo­ple you encoun­ter at the bus stop, what you say to the lady you see on Thurs­days. Words, though, in their nature are dis­pro­por­tion­ate against the pro­por­tion of expe­ri­ence. This note itself is a car­i­ca­ture.

So how does a writer dif­fer from the lan­guage mak­ers all around him, the cacoph­ony of chat­ter­ers? By writ­ing a sym­phony. The dis­pro­por­tions of our con­ver­sa­tion are art­less, for where there are pat­terns they are uncon­scious, and where there is sig­nif­i­cance, it is self­ish. The writer is able to cre­ate pat­terns from dis­pro­por­tion which cre­ate newly defined sig­nif­i­cance, a fresh real­ity. He mar­shals the trivia of ran­dom occur­rence into an enter­prise with pur­pose and direc­tion, just as a musi­cian mar­shals noise into music.

This entry was posted in poetry, proportion, truth, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply