My Problem With Editing

A few days ago, I discussed the logic problems resulting from editing. But those are really more practical problems. The general problem is more distressing, and it is this:

Let’s say that you, like me, have a quirk to your ego such that in certain respects you believe that you can do no wrong. Everything you do is perfect. It is not perfect because you are so good, to be sure, but rather because the god of your field guides your hand. The work passes through you on its way from the strange world of Forms, where it has always existed, to the world of Matter, where it is still missing. It is your privilege to bring the work into the world of Matter, and it is your privilege because the god of the work has chosen you.


Where does that leave the imperfect draft? Something in the chain of logic through which you understand your circumstance is incorrect. Either the work does not pre-exist; or the god does not exist; or the god has not chosen you. Horrifyingly, you may be making up the work yourself. You may not be finding it, but rather creating it.

I cannot hold with this, and yet I cannot deny that my drafts 1 are usually unreadably bad. How do I deal with the flaw in my model? I don’t. I believe all the parts of it in my gut, and understand in my mind that something is wrong, somewhere. But I don’t need to force the matter. When I am working, and my work is going well, I retain the impression of the light invisible pressure on my hand. No matter that the work may later be bad. Without the pressure, I can hardly work at all.

It is not always necessary to drive things to their logical conclusions. Much can be gained from life in the intermediate state, the zone of utility, of nonsense and ambiguity.


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