I can no longer recall where it began but I know I did not start at the beginning. It was, in a manner of speaking, all written simultaneously. EverytI can no longer recall where it began but I know I did not start at the beginning. It was, in a manner of speaking, all written simultaneously. Everything was there, or appeared to be there as if within the temporal space of an open piano with its simultaneous keys.
I wrote with the utmost care as the narrative began to take shape inside me, and only after the fifth version had been patiently drafted did I become fully aware of the text. Only then did I begin to understand more clearly what was waiting to be expressed.
My great fear was that, out of impatience with my slowness in understanding myself, I might arrive at some meaning with undue haste. I had the impression , or rather felt certain that the more time I gave myself, the more spontaneously would the narrative begin to surface.
Increasingly I find that it is all a matter of patience, of love begetting patience, of patience begetting love.
The book came together simultaneously as it were, emerging more here than there, or suddenly more there than here: I would interrupt a sentence in Chapter Ten, let us say, in order to write Chapter Two, which I would then abandon for months on end while I wrote Chapter Eighteen. I showed endless patience: putting up with the considerable inconvenience of disorder without any reassurance that I would finish the book. But then order, too, can bring a sense of disquiet.
As always, the greatest difficulty is waiting. (I’m feeling rather odd, a woman will tell her doctor. You’re going to have a baby. And here was me thinking I was dying, the woman replies.) My deformed soul growing and swelling, while I remain uncertain whether something is about to come to light.
In addition to this tiresome waiting, it requires infinite patience to reconstitute in gradual stages the initial vision which came in a flash. Recovering that vision is extremely difficult.
And to make matters worse, I am quite hopeless when it comes to editing. I am incapable of narrating an idea, and do not know how to ‘embellish an idea with words’. What I write does not refer to past thought, but to thought in the present: whatever comes to the surface is already expressed in the only possibly words, or simply does not exist.
As I write them down, I am convinced once more that, however paradoxical it may sound, the greatest drawback about writing is that one has to use words. It is a problem. For I should prefer a more direct form of communication, that tacit understanding one often finds between people. If I could write by carving wood or by stroking a child’s head or strolling in the countryside, I would never resort to using words. I would do what so many people do who are not writers, and with the same joy and torment as those who write, and with the same bitter disappointments which are beyond consolation. I would live and no longer use words. And this might be the solution. And as such, be most welcome.
From: The Making of a Novel (May 2nd 1970 pgs: 139-140)...more
“Millet’s sexual memoir...actually succeeded in taking the sexy out of sex, surely her greatest obscenity,” writes one reviewer of The Sex Life of Ca “Millet’s sexual memoir...actually succeeded in taking the sexy out of sex, surely her greatest obscenity,” writes one reviewer of The Sex Life of Catherine M. Mario Vargas Llosa described the book as a “carnal gymnasium, devoid of any sentiment or emotion.” Even Jean Baudrillard chaffed at Millet’s exposure: “If one lifts one’s skirt, it is to show one’s self, not to show oneself naked like truth.” Written with the precise eye of an art critic, the book is a fantastically detailed, if detached, inventory of endless fucks on rain-slicked car hoods, in photographic darkrooms, analingus in the alley, orgies at the Bois de Boulonge, or anywhere. Most importantly, however, Millet looks: among the “ochre-colored buildings” and “the crumpled surface of his balls” is the “brownish crater of her asshole,” her “swollen vulva,” “sticky clitoris,” she peels back a man’s foreskin to reveal a “very red cock.”
Orgies aren't for everyone; neither is monogamy. The point remains--its not your sex life, its hers. ...more