Specifically, I embarked upon a career in writing blithely undismayed by the fact that, as a writer, I was primarily interested in that which writing obliterates: in the living atmosphere of all that is shown, seen, touched, felt, smelled, heard, spoken, or sung. I knew this was a peculiar obsession, of course, but I thought writers were supposed to be peculiar. I thought it was just a “problem,” that it could be solved, and that, once solved, the enigmatic whoosh of ordinary experience would become my “great subject”—that I could then proceed to celebrate the ravishing complexity and sheer intellectual pleasure of simply being alive in the present moment forever after. I thought.
So I began by writing poems, quickly shifted to fiction, abandoned that for pharmaceutically assisted pastiche, and abandoned that for gonzo reportage—always trying to get out of the book, trying to get closer to the moment, and always floating farther from it, slamming myself up
against the fact that writing, even the best writing, invariably suppresses and displaces the greater and more intimate part of any experience that it seeks to express. Ultimately, I would be forced to admit that all the volumes of Proust were nothing, quantitatively, compared to the twenty-minute experience of eating breakfast on a spring morning at a Denny’s in Mobile—and that the more authoritatively and extensively I sought to encode such an experience, the more profoundly it was obliterated from the immediacy of memory and transported into the imaginary realm of remembrance, invested with identity, shorn of utility, and polished up as an object of delectation.
Dave Hickey, Air Guitar