NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- When writing the novella Desire and the Invention of the Telescope, I was aware that
for me, there was something missing. I didn't know what it was. I liked the story. I
liked the characters. I had fun. And I knew I wanted to explore the relationship
between reason and emotion, a theme carried through in the writing that followed; in
Darwin 's Wings and in Dance of the Hungry Ghosts, both plays.
The only time I became both moved and excited in the process of writing was when
strange poetic fragments arrived, unexpectedly and often out of context. A few words
here, a line there, sticking out, not fitting in.
One day I sat down on my living room floor with a pair of scissors, and cut from the
text every fragment I liked, all poetic, without meaning. I didn't ask myself why I
liked them, or what I could possibly do with them. And by evening my floor was
covered with tiny pieces of paper, some grey and almost unreadable from the time
where my computer was out of ink, others luminous, black and white, a mosaic of
The pieces covered my living room floor for three days. I sat with them. I stepped on
them by mistake. The breeze from the window blew them into different patterns. They
looked funny, weird, mixed together like a puzzle straight from the box, and when
reading them they conjured up strange associations, promising a whole new world,
while at the same time being puffs of smoke, intangible, glimmering, there, not there,
there, not there.
The only way I could sense their potential was if I made familiar reference points
loose. When that happened I got excited, ecstatic, feeling a strong sense of purpose.
But if the voice of reason entered the living room, booming, with formulas, squares,
propositions and firm ideas of how things should be done, or if I for a moment
imagined someone looking over my shoulder, reading with me, the words turned into
nothing but nonsense.
I left Desire and the Invention of the Telescope behind before it was finished. Only a
few of the poetic fragments were used in later writings. I started out again with a
better sense of what I needed as a writer and began to experiment using poetic
imagery in play dialogues.
The pieces, then, that I have decided to include in this folio are:
Two plays, Darwin 's Wings and Dance of the Hungry Ghosts, which both explore, in
different ways, the relationship between reason and emotion.
An excerpt from the unfinished novella, Desire and the Invention of the Telescope.
A DVD featuring a series of rehearsal and performance shots of Dance of the Hungry
This dissertation, Writing as Departure, a Landscape, is an attempt to create a
landscape of the process of writing these pieces. It is a meditation - slow, deep, quick
and a bit absurd - on inspiration, poetic imagery and storyline.