I've been writing my book. If I did only this, it wouldn't take so long. I've been doing something else as well. I've been reading through my old papers and across my life, since the very beginning. Yes it's taking all the things since the beginning, since 1993, to write this book. And I try to fathom how much I've been mistaken in all my ideas about how books are actually written.
I start to feel I should have learned something about it by now. I did something like 11 of them, I'm puzzled in counting them again and again. And diverse translations, more than 30.
The good thing is that I've forgotten the articles totally; all my plans in writing are nothing but books from now on. And I'm stepping into learning how to actually write them.
When I was young, it was a kind of exhausting ordeal, a struggle at the end of my nerves. I shall never forget the state in which Pokusa pustyni was written. Or rather not written, how it was emerging from chaos.
I've started it several times, I've seen all the stages right now (believe it or not, I've been keeping every single sheet of paper related to this book for over 10 years...). And I can see and feel how I toiled against the mediocrity, against writing like I saw things written in that time, in Poland. It was like several layers of discourse, trying to get out of dullness. The result was not as bad as it had started, I think.
And I should write another book on Saramago now, in English. This is what I want to do this month of November. I will make it small. I will speak only about Cain, and the tanatopower of Intermitencias da Morte, and yet something, but just 4 novels, not more. And I will make it a pretext for just an essay. About the "late style", yes, and about the Desert, as it is in Cain, and about emptiness.
And yes, I do believe I will finish the first book next week, even if there is still work to be done. I've been going so slow not because of writing, but because of all this work of learning how to write, how to work, and cleaning my working space.
I do need order, and habits, and more careful, smarter planning. And to see more clearly where I want to arrive. But I have this very peculiar feeling now my life will be just this, writing books. Till I reach 60 or 80 volumes, like Derrida. Yes, I do take it seriously. Even the whole affair of living long enough to finish these 60 or 80 books. This is why I speak about habits. I need to make it sustainable.
Pokusa pustyni wasn't a sustainable kind of writing. I could make it like an extreme adventure, a passagium, but I couldn't make it as the usual way of working. And now I want to write day by day, book by book. I want to finish this one, and make the one about Saramago during the month of November, and then to travel on Chrismas, and then to make other books with my new editor, perhaps the African one, or the Poetics of the Void he is interested in, or to make other book proposals in English. And I want to make the essay on emptiness in Pessoa, and the transcultural research about Vieira as I was thinking about it before. And I want to make order in the Intrusive spirit. I'm thinking I could make at least a short essay out of it, for Miscellanea Orientalia, an initiative of our Oriental Society, and develop some parts for my Moroccan book, that would be next in the queue. It would be the last patch of chaos in my papers, I cant believe this. I look forward to this. Having no patches of chaos in my papers.
It took me about 4 years to clean up all the unfinished articles I had. Now I clean up the unfinished books, that seems harder to manage, but I'm doing all right, I think.
Yes I do love my books, and I want to learn the job of writing them as they should be written.