Monday, August 30, 2010

Landscape: A Transposition Exercise


Jaspreet Singh, from Rob McLennan (sp?)'s blog, accidentally encountered as I try to research Juliana Spahr on geography, in attempt 2.b. to make the words "duplicate territory" useful for the writers I spoke to today; thinking I could somehow write them a letter after the fact (we had class today and afterwards, I was not sure if I had over-simplified, or obscured, the domain*); instead, I find a writer who is like me, which is more than useless for the purpose at hand:

"Question 2 - How long have you lived in Calgary, and how does geography, if at all, impact on your writing?

Answer - I moved to Calgary to be closer to Banff. The Rockies helped me restore memories of growing up in Kashmir. While writing the ‘glacier scenes’ in Chef (my new novel) I drove to the Athabasca Glacier 11 times to get it right."

I read that just now, trying to research "Juliana Spahr on geography," as a way to make sense of class 2 of *"Literature of Exile and Diaspora": the jungle to city/Brechtian: writing prompt I devised -- with the proviso that I never write, prompted. Then I found JASPREET. And recalled how I substituted the Ponderosa forest of Rocky Mountain National Park for: the sal. Of Bengal.

Forest for jungle. In [humanimal].

And yet, in asking the writers in the class to build a dark forest, I don't know exactly if it is useful.

"Is diaspora a useful word?" -- Stephane Dufoix.

"Diaspora is a territory without terrain." -- Stephane Dufoix

We talked about the sentence. About whiteness, in brief. And what is "errant," from Glissant. I don't know. I don't know how to translate, and feel that perhaps it is a mistake to teach a class that is so close to my own body. I want to get rid of my own body, in a way, but do not know how to do that in a way that doesn't approximate the kind of suicide I sometimes think diaspora is.

Is this blogging? No, it's not exactly blogging anymore.