Jennifer Dawson Biography
Jennifer Dawson Comments:
My greatest passion in life has always been music. I regard writing as a last resort, a faute de mieux for me. In a world where language has been eroded, gutted ("pre-emptive strike," "take-out" for the murder of eight million civilians, etc.) all art "aspires to the condition of music," which cannot be exploited, interpreted, which explores the lost places of the heart, which makes all things new. Two of my novels have had musicians as their main characters—studies of the composer/musician who for social and political reasons experience dryness, aridity, and cannot play any more. Politics creep, burst inevitably into my novels. They then become shrill, rhetorical, routine, etc.
One feeling that has haunted me all my life is that life, social life as we know it, is a kind of game with correct moves, correct remarks and replies, correct procedures. I don't know the rules. I have struggled in vain for the real life as opposed to the game of menand-women.
But the thing that obsesses me most, and which I feel I shall never put into language, is the strangeness of life, its accidentalness. Here we all are on a tiny, blue-green balloon in the midst of naked gases, chambers of violence. The planet as an accident that has produced music, literature, art, and the extraordinary theme-and-variations of religions. Here we are, with our fitted carpets and Mixmasters and spin-dryers, stilted above the world, talking about mock O-levels, who is to be next Master of St. Judas's, how all the cars in St. John's Street seemed badly parked today. Here we are in the midst of nothingness, in the midst of a mystery, accidental and yet behaving politically and socially as though the bizarre nature of our life on this planet has not hit us yet. To me this freak of life (like a purple flower growing out of the dumped tippings of a Hoover-bag) is the invitation to a new kind of freedom. Only art can introduce us to this. But my art? No! It must be someone else's. I shall never succeed in saying what I want to say.
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