Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The desired restitution of the self

After paddling some swells in the internet, I discovered this quotation on BLCKDGRD from William H. Gass, from a 2008 edition of Harpers Magazine that is now too tricksy to find outside a library or a subscription. Here in an essay called 'Go forth and falsify: Katherine Anne Porter and the lies of art', he describes the making of voice in writing:
Whether unconsciously or by intent, the writer chooses subjects, adopts a tone, considers an order for the release of meaning, arrives at the rhythm, selects a series of appropriate sounds, determines the diction and measures the pace, turns the referents of certain words into symbols, establishes connections with companionable paragraphs, sizes up each sentence's intended significance, and, if granted good fortune because each decision might have been otherwise, achieves not just this or that bit of luminosity or suggestiveness but her own unique lines of language, lines that produce the desired restitution of the self.

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