A road of prose is unknown in advance. Where it goes is both the reader’s and the writer’s guess. When you set out on such a road, the words write the words to follow. If you have an intention, it quickly gets lost in words you never expected to see in the first place. It is as if you have taken a wrong turn onto a wide toll highway, with a destination in mind at first but now missed. The wrong miles stretch ahead of you and you may not have enough money to pay the toll to turn around and go back again. You ever - accumulating outrage and alienation turn into the content of your journey now. The prose becomes a story about the progress of a hope.
If a dog crosses the highway, it becomes part of the prose road, because it is by now a story where there are contengencies, surprise entries, relations. The story is like the driver of a car who is lost. The driver has heightened, even burning consciousness of the weird, the accidental, the danger of weather and health. The driver laughs by herself. Surreal flash-memories of her known life take on a comic dimension. She curses herself as an idiot who despites everything, wants things to control the world. She wants that so much she might think, « I meant to get lost ». She might pause by a cliff and consider suicide. Feel the gravity hawl at her bones when she stands at the ledge of air. But she backs away and drives on. She never mentions this episode to anyone. The reader might pause at the same time and think of abandoning the book, but be unable to do so. It would be too intentional in the situation of complete randomness in which she and the heroine are living for this time. Such a long error with repetitive surge of hope and disappointment, the error becoming the actual fate (perhaps even the pre-determined one !) can develop into a metaphysical desire or stay wholly modern. In this latter case, there is little distinction between living people outside the book/car and imaginary people the head/car of the driver / writer. Not only a dog might wander by, but also Michael Jackson or Vaclav Havel. There is nothing metaphysical here, only the developed world bouncing on air.
Fanny Howe, A Great Ride, foreword to Torpor by Chris Krauss