Friday, August 26, 2011

Amelie Nothomb

I've been reading AN and reading about her, so I thought I'd chat a little. She's difficult and interesting. She calls herself "a numerous being." And she says, "Writing for me is a descent into myself to a place where I'm entirely porous and where I can let myself be penetrated by all the individuals I could have been in all of humanity."

She also calls writing a sacred act and says this about her deep need to write: "Is it a matter of life or death? From the moment where it's a matter of life or death, then I have the right to write."

Jeez, Amelie -- relax. I get a little cranky when I don't write, but I don't need to call 911.

Still, I love the idea of being porous, and writing can be a sacred act. I know a writer who every morning cleans and polishes her desk, arranges some expensive paper just so and then sits quietly so she can hear the Muse in her bare feet enter quietly, look over her shoulder, then begin to whisper in her ear.


  1. I think I'll try with more focus to let my muse enter on quiet feet and whisper in my ear. Thanks for a lovely post.

  2. Truly, a nice post. But am I the only one who reads her name as No Thumb?

  3. I sometimes think of writing as a sacred responsibility. Everyone needs stories at some level, but not everyone has the time and temperment to observe, absorb and reflect stories. If someone else runs the grocery so that I have food to eat, then seems like I should do my part in making stories for people to read.