straight jacket

I could be wrong, but from what I have gathered, the ability to write well requires watching everything all the time, including yourself and your thoughts and imaginings as well as everyone else’s. It’s like spying on yourself. I wonder if the Stasi and the KGB produced good writers, people trained to spy and watch each other all the time, trained to spy on each other’s farts even. Spying on a fart. That level of observation must have produced a few decent writers. Writing a fart. But perhaps their weakness was the inability to observe themselves after all those years observing others. Except that observing others is of course also about observing yourself. That’s the whole point perhaps. Maybe that’s why those spying regimes finally crumble because people can’t cope with the spying on themselves. That is of course what happens eventually. You don’t need to train the spies because people teach themselves, willingly, how to spy and how to watch and how to tell the authorities who is who. The subtleties of deviant behaviour. There is a level of madness required to spy on others and to spy on yourself, to watch continually for interesting behaviour and then note it and write it. It must be a form of madness. Which may sound pretentious but I’m absolutely sure I’m onto something her