Please do not think that I hyperlink their names for braggy, name-dropping purposes; I am simply hoping that you will take a look at the many cool things that they do.
Meanwhile, can you believe that I walked right past Matt Damon when I was in New York in June? Seriously, I was so close, I could have touched him.
Jena and Amze’s visit, just after I had written about an equestrian statue in New Orleans, reminded me that it was she who really got me thinking about public monuments a few years ago.
During one of our visits, Jena was working on a project exploring the points of view of statues:
She constructed a “gaze-capturing apparatus” (a camera gerry-rigged to a pole) that could be raised to catch a snapshot of what the figure in the monument saw from its vantage point.
I was into it. And I asked a lot of questions because I wanted to catch a snapshot of what Jena was seeing from her vantage point.
Now, forward to my gaze-capturing efforts this past weekend:
Over a bar of chocolate (Chocolove, a love poem enclosed with each bar), I may have said that I liked the Andrew Marvell poem that accompanied our Raspberries in Dark Chocolate. I do like it.
Jena didn’t disagree (she is polite), but she didn’t exactly agree either (she is honest). She just kind of shrugged. She said (with apologies, Jena, for this distorted image of your three-dimensional thoughts, captured by my gerry-rigged camera of a mind):
The thing about this kind of writing is that you always know what you’re getting. There is a kind of contractual agreement between the writer and the reader. When you read a melodrama, for example, you expect the writer to tug at your heart strings.
Right. So, I asked about the nature of the contractual arrangement between Jena and her readers. No direct answer; just this:
The most interesting writing subverts the contractual expectations.
Literary breach of contract. I agree.
Now, I’m thinking (this is my blog, y’know) about the sorts of expectations I have already set up in just a few essays of 500 or so words:
Yadda, yadda, yadda…literary reference (Russian, if possible)…blah, blah, blah…ambivalence…a few more words, and (tada!): sentimental conclusion about the world.
My next post must be about how Zumba changed my life: all exclamation points and unequivocal enthusiasm.