Saturday, March 07, 2015

Words will change nothing

Those who claim to know her, or know of her, have talked of poems whose syntax and diction twist language into new shapes, forming tiny bright daggers sharp enough to pierce the heart. Others have spoken of a novel so compendious and yet so precise it would change our thinking about the form, the last true revolutionary work, a thing that would turn lives inside out after only its first page. Some have claimed she wrote short stories, brief tales that twist and turn, things that would checkmate Chekhov, carve Carver into pieces. Stories that need but a few brief pages to reconfigure our soul.

The ephemeral, evanescent, scarcely believable career of Sara Zeelen-Levallois shows us, if nothing else, one important, terrible thing: words will change nothing. Write how we may, the arrogant and corrupt will still run the world, people will starve needlessly, your lover will still leave you.

And yet.

The power of writing is one of the greatest things we have, whether it is read or not.
— from "Sara Zeelen-Levallois" in The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure, edited by C.D. Rose.

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