A Real, Fictional Depth – Robert Glück 2

 

A Real, Fictional Depth
Robert
Glück in Conversation
Part Two

withEarl
Jackson, Jr.


E. J.: This reminds me of my surprise
at you saying that it’s possibilities in Margery too, because
it seems like the anticipation of possibilities is what motivates the repetition
compulsion. Because in some ways you can say, the possibility is, „Maybe
he’ll call, maybe will be better,“ and it actually motivates
exactly the same . . .

repetition compulsion.

RG: Oh, completely.

E.J.: So, with
Williams, and I’m not actually defending Williams, I’m just interested
in the difference. Maybe if The Red Wheelbarrow can be successful
on its own terms it’s that he sees that kind of authority in his experience
for himself, and when it becomes a public prescription for that authority,
that seems to be the area where you are objecting to it. But the
poignancy of Margery
is how much it resonates with anybody’s,
well, mine– failed optimism over a romance that can’t really satisfy.
 

R. G.: : Or even more
than a failed romance, it’s an unrequited love that extends to the world
itself.

EJ: Yeah

R. G.: That’s
what I would want the reader to be led into. So there is a promise, and
the promise helps you to believe, and structure belief and the forward
momentum that belief implies. But that doesn’t mean the world is going
to love you back. That also doesn’t mean that you should stop loving the
world, just because your faith may not be returned. So I was trying to
understand how belief works. To me each
sentence is an increment of belief
, that the world is out there, and
that there’s a promise in it, it’s making a promise to you. The promise,
basically at heart, is that you are going to continue to exist, and that
something from the world is going to come to you . And that’s a promise
that the world breaks.

E.J.:Right.

R.G.:
But the way that I’m made up, and I think everybody’s made up, we attain
a willing suspension of disbelief — we do believe that the world loves
us back, and that’s what makes our belief in self and world possible.

E.J.: That
sounds like a much more humane version of somebody I bet you don’t like,
Wallace
Stevens.
Because he says belief is an act of imagination, and
you have to believe
even though you know there’s no sense in it. I
sort of believe that.

R. G.: There
are lots of ways of expressing that that have centuries of sophisticated
technology
behind them, like Buddhist
practice
.

E.J.: Oh, absolutely. Or Camp.

R.G.:
Yes. For me Margery is an exploration of the unrequitedness of one’s
love for the world.

E.J.: Do you think that… isn’t
there something about love that is essentially unrequited in its structure?

R.G.:
Yes.

E.J.:
He said passionately.

R. G.: [laughter]

E.J.: I think that
one of the things people should remember about passion, the word passion
is that it really comes from the verbto suffer or to experience. And that we should remember
that suffering is coextensive with it.

R.G.: Well…
certainly romantic passion is practically a pathology.

E.J.: Absolutely.
And „pathology“ is also from the Greek verb for „to suffer.“

R. G: And in
different representations of romantic
suffering
you can see the same loss of self, and the
stages
of it seem almost clinical after you’ve read a few „true accounts“
. It’s a clinical illness . . .

E. J:
Yeah. What would be a non-pathological state
of being? Is that a trick question?
[laughter]

R.G.: More laughter .

E. J.: Was that a trope on Goethe’s
last words? You know – his last words were, „More light“?

RG:

R. G.: Uh…

E.J.: When you just said, „More
laughter.“

R.G.: Oh, more laughter.

E.J.: :Oh, I see — that was a stage
direction.

R.G.: Yes. [more laughter]

R.G.:
More laughter.

E.J.: Was that a trope on Goethe’s
last words? You know his last words were, „More light“?

R.G.:Uh…

E.J.: When you just said, „More
laughter.“

R. G.: Oh,
more laughter.

R. G.: E.J.: Oh, I see
— that was a stage direction.

R.G.:
Y
es. [more laughter]

E.J.: Well, I certainly brought
this interview to a halt. Let’s see if I can get us over this hurtle I just threw in front of us.


A Real, Fictional Depth
Robert Glück in Conversation
Another
Scene
One Part Two
Part Three
Earl Jackson, Jr. Part Four

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Earl
Jackson, Jr.


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