“Solitude sometimes is the best society.” (Milton, Paradise Lost)
Versione italiana al link : Perché gli scrittori scrivono?
Maria Zambrano's passage: Why do writers write?
"But the word does not collect us, and therefore does not create us – on the contrary, when we use it too much, it always produces disintegration. We defeat the moment through the word, and then we are defeated by the [next] moment, by the sequence of moments that keep carrying away our attack without letting us respond. It is a continuous victory which, at the end, transforms into a loss. And from this loss – an intimate, human loss, not of a particular person but of the human being, the need to write is born. One writes in order to re-conquer the loss that is always suffered when we have spoken for a long time.
And the victory can come only at the place where one has suffered the loss, in the same words. In writing, these same words now have a different function: They are not at the service of the oppressing moment; they no longer serve to justify us against the attack of the momentary. Rather, coming out of the center of our collected being, they defend us from the totality of the moments, from the totality of the circumstances, from the whole of life."
Here is a piece of writing I wrote in the Deep Philosophy Newsletter (Deep Philosophy) inspired by Maria Zambrano's passage:
Writing is drawing the holy perimeter of my blessed solitude. Amanuensis of my soul, I design the founding lines of my sanctum sanctorum. The spoken word is spell and betrayal. It forces me into a struggle where every triumph is a loss and, by winning the battle, I actually lose the war. These arabesques of ink I have shored against my abuse. Speaking is perpetrating the abuse, mystifying the grief of primordial loss. The spoken word attempts to exorcise time, to hide the mourning of the first abandonment. By speaking, I have abandoned myself. And now it is enough: I return to that silence before time. I dip my pen in the blood of my first wound, I bathe the paper with the tears of my first cry. Each written word recomposes me, it is a stitch on my ruins. I leave the battlefield, I leave the courtroom. I bind myself in a thread of black ink.