I started off reading James Knowlson’s Damned to Fame, a biography on the life of Samuel Beckett, like a textbook – fishing for details with an eye to catch dates and places. More than 700 pages later, as the bibliography looms, it feels as though I’m peering into a mirror held up to my life, and I cannot go on. Can barely go on. The things one held, things at some point lost, things once hoped for.
It is a tribute to Knowlson’s writing, who blends a spectacular palette of narratives into one – a life – to reflect a story that, at some point, we recognise ourselves in.
Version II: I am not being coy. What I would like to do here is write about my journey, which at the moment coincides with the PhD, and speak about the challenges along the way, as well as my discoveries. I invite you to take what you will from these, and, if possible, find an echo in them.
Version I: The ambiguity found on this blog is not derived from a coyness that I wish to postulate. Instead, it indicates an openness towards the journey of learning that so many of us – dare I say “all” – are on, a willingness to embrace the uncertain delineations of meaning that words, writing and re-wording bring. This is not to adhere to the school of thought that entirely divorces the concept from the word (i.e. an absolute separation between the signifier and the signified), no, for otherwise what folly communication would be. Rather, it is to recognise the difficulties and challenges that belong to a framing of words, to the speaking of the self – and, such play!