Ashish Rajadhyaksha of CSCS, Bangalore, has begun a book titled The Last Cultural Mile, which he plans to write online as a public act. A novel idea. I hope its interactive part doesnt become pervert as sometimes happens with online writings. For the experiment to succeed we as public are also responsible. We should readily take part in the debates the book sets off.
Dear world. This is the first time I am trying such a thing. What I want to do is to write my book, which I have for the moment titled ‘The Last Cultural Mile’, as a public online act. I suppose it doesn’t especially matter to me how many people actually read this: it’s more to do with writing this in public, so to say: to see what this does to my writing, as practice and as discipline. I hope to write simpler. I also hope to write more regularly, since I am making this into a public duty. There will be more to say about the public nature of this. Since I work on my texts over and over again, I will keep changing this text, and at the same time adding new chapters to the book. Let me see how this piece of unmoulded rock can be hewn into shape as the world – meaning of course the three and a half people who do care – watches.
Years ago, inspired by the new journalism that was fashionable when I was young (and myself a journalist) I tried speedwriting, typing on my Royal typewriter whatever occurred to my head, as fast as I could, ensuring – in, I imagined, the grand tradition of Tom Wolfe and the abstract expressionists behind him – that, whatever happened, I would change not a word: that this will be my consciousness speaking unmediated, so to say. This is close, and perhaps a useful update on that technology: for here I CAN change, and yet it is pure consciousness speaking. (I tried many things then: to work with the xxx marks that showcased error when I thought I would be inspired by Tagore’s doodles) then to type on teleprinter rolls so as to eliminate the tyranny of the A-4 page. The important thing about such consciousness always being to try and discover what my book is actually about only as I write it, or even – who knows – after it’s all done….
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