These early mornings, I’m writing an article about my novel, dissecting how I use language, and explaining the impact of Ernest Fenollosa’s writing about Chinese poetry on my own Vermont book, from the overall arc to the characters’ interior lives. And so on, and so forth…..
A once-upon-a-time philosophy major, I’m capable of writing up a fury of abstraction, but, really, the gem of Fenollosa’s writing is its concreteness. This afternoon, walking in a foggy rain laced with hues of yellow and red leaves, I picked a cucumber, a brandywine, a crimson red pepper – those jewels of pepper plants keep giving – a handful of mesclun. Separate, discrete things? Or all joined in my arm, in my garden, beneath this misty veil, at this turning place in the season?
The truth is that acts are successive, even continuous; one causes or passes into another…. motion leaks everywhere, like electricity from an exposed wire. All processes in nature are interrelated; and thus there could be no complete sentence …. save one which it would take all time to pronounce.
–– Ernest Fenollosa