The Difficulty of the Blank Page

Faced with a choice, one option of 2 or 3, life is easy. A blank page or an empty screen, however, is unlimited. Unconstrained, it becomes a mirror of yourself. A blank page is a scary thing: you simply stare at yourself, blinking.

Isaac Babel, in his short story Guy de Maupassant [photo of l’inspiration, right], affirms the necessity of perfection in each choice of word, claiming “No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.” Babel was a tireless reviser, editing and reediting his work, making each survivor almost a miracle. I admire this style, and between it and my affirmed fear of seeing what my reflection would be, very, very few words make it onto a page of mine.

This is an unsatisfying result; one must have courage. I shall try to write this blog more in the manner of Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet. Aside from it miserable navel-gazing, I hope for my fragments to achieve a continuity as his do, over time, repetively. So a minimum of editing to each of these posts! I want conclusions to be drawn out of a spiderweb pattern, and atmosphere to glisten like dew from each strand. Perhaps one day I’ll stare long and hard at my own reflection.

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