robertogreco + subconscious   6

BOMB Magazine — Edwidge Danticat by Garnette Cadogan
"Despite her accomplishments, it is clear from talking to her and reading her books that her ambition is to be nothing less than an attentive observer—her works display exemplary watchfulness and empathy. Over the course of a weeks-long correspondence about her writing, she kept gently nudging me to listen more closely, to be the kind of reader on whom nothing is lost, a reader who recognizes people as irreducibly various and complex. And she made it seem so simple. Except it’s not. (Relatedly, her prose’s deceptive simplicity is part of its appeal.) She has been described as “the bard of the Haitian diaspora,” but, really, her terrain is whatever world her fertile imagination takes her to. Her latest stop is the fictional town of Ville Rose, in which Claire of the Sea Light is set—a heartbreaking-yet-wondrous world."



"GC Claire, this “luminous child,” comes to us in a fable-like series of interrelated stories. Why that structure? Was there something about the themes you wanted to tackle, or about the way you wanted to delineate linked lives in Haiti, that made you choose this form?

ED Initially I wanted to write a book that was like a transcript of a popular radio show in Haiti, featuring news, gossip, interviews, and testimonials. I was not going to use the transcript format, but each chapter was going to be a story that was an episode of the show. The book is as much about Claire and her father as it is about the other residents of Ville Rose. We meet many different characters and get into each of their houses and heads. There is a schoolmaster and his wayward son. There is an undertaker, as well as Louise George, the radio hostess, and others. I imagine the reader as a visitor to Ville Rose on the one night that the book takes place. You arrive on the beach and you start meeting people and you try to piece all the pieces together. I like books, like mysteries, that leave something for the reader to do, a puzzle to solve. I hope this book does that.

GC Were you worried that the fantastical elements of your story might be taken as allegorical and therefore lessen the blow of the horrors you describe?

ED There are not that many fantastical elements in this book. Everything that is mentioned can and actually has happened in different parts of the world. Rogue waves happen. Supernovas happen. Frogs die en masse in many places. Also, even when fantastical elements appear in stories, in my experience, they often highlight rather than reduce horrors.

GC The tiny seaside town of Ville Rose is painted with magical strokes that point to a life beyond the one we can see. They reveal the townspeople’s connection with each other and also their connection to the world beyond. How do you perceive the world that we can’t see shaping the one we do see?

ED I am certainly of the belief that there is more to us than what we see. This is why I would resist the notion of death as ultimate exile. I believe that we remain connected to our ancestors long after they’re gone. It is a deep spiritual connection that is hard to explain. I sometimes think, for example, that I see traces of my grandmother in my daughter’s expressions. This is both genetic and magical at the same time. We are all part of a cycle of life, shaped by all that has come before. Some call it evolution. Some call it God, by whatever name they call God. In Haiti you might say Gran Mèt la, the Grand Master or Creator, which would be part of most religions, even ones where people have trouble agreeing what God should be or look or sound like.

GC In an essay published on the year since the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, you quoted a saying of your grandmother’s: “In Haiti, people never really die.” The dead are still among us, you pointed out. How does your awareness of your ancestors and your intimate connection to the dead influence your writing?

ED Again, not to sound too mysterious, but there is so much happening when I am writing that I don’t quite understand. In many ways this is linked to the fact that your subconscious is doing most of the work when you’re in the middle of any creative act. Yet sometimes, on good days when the writing is going well, you feel like there is someone on your shoulder whispering things in your ear that you are just transcribing. You’re a vessel. You don’t even notice time going by. The words just flow. On those days, some people say that the muse has been by. I like to say that my ancestors have been by, sharing with me some of what they have learned over several lifetimes, because there is no way I can individually know what everyone in my bloodline has known together, collectively."



"GC You seem to carry the burden—and liberation—of being from multiple worlds, Haiti and the United States, and speaking to and on behalf of both. Do you see yourself speaking from one world to another, or speaking to both worlds simultaneously? Or speaking to both worlds and the diaspora, that homeland caught between the two?

ED I carry no such burden, frankly. If you give yourself that burden, that is your burden. If I thought of myself as this person “being from multiple worlds,” then I would probably just shut down and do something else with my life. No one elected me to speak on their behalf either in Haiti or the United States. I’m certainly not going to assign myself that role because it would be presumptuous and arrogant and just plain too much. To express an opinion, I would have to take a survey first. I can add my voice to someone else’s. I can help raise other voices. But I can’t take on this massive undertaking that you’re suggesting. I would fail miserably. I don’t have the personality for it or the stamina. Also, the idea of this great anguish of living between two worlds has diminished somewhat for many immigrant people, artists and non-artists alike. Not that there is not some uneasiness, but it is no longer the single most urgent anxiety of every immigrant’s life. And honestly, maybe it never was—except, perhaps, in literature.

Recently I read Patricia Engel’s It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris, in which a father wants to convince his daughter to join the family business, but she wants to be an artist. He says to her that all immigrants are artists, that the overall action of recreating your life in another country is a work of art. That was a wonderful intergenerational moment about the pressures of immigration—something I personally needed to hear, something that moves the conversation beyond culture clash and “I am neither here nor there,” to a more nuanced situation where people are talking intimately about immigration and not screaming, “I don’t know where I belong!” I would like us to move beyond these tropes of speaking to or for, and of being only between two worlds. We are at the same time speaking to no one and everyone."



"GC One truth that stands high in your work is that love is a potent combatant to loss. Elaborate on the hopefulness that runs through your recent novel and your work in general.

ED I don’t know how to do this without singing a corny love song, but if you have ever suffered a loss, or have been deprived of a love, or have watched someone’s life slip away—of course all positive emotions can offer some kind of comfort. Love is certainly one of the best for that. When things are difficult, the love a parent has for a child, romantic love, or the love a neighbor has for a stranger or a friend, can sustain a person in ways that even the person being sustained might not fully understand at the moment. The year my father and uncle both died, I can’t imagine how I would have survived if not for the love of my friends and family who got me through a pregnancy, a birth, and all the craziness—mostly with words. Words of comfort in cards, texts, and emails, when I could not even pick up the phone. Not to sound too corny, but sometimes love can also be the difference between life and death. Countless poems, novels, essays, and films vouch for this."
edwidgedanticat  garnettecadogan  writing  literature  haiti  2014  interviews  immigration  migration  howwewrite  whywwewrite  exile  motherhood  subconscious  identity  patriciaengle  nikkigiovanni  love  childhood  fiction  alienation  history  ancestry  noticing  observing  listening 
july 2016 by robertogreco
word up
"Roger Ebert said “we’re all dying in increments.” But the way his death triggered a reaction in me, I realized that the dead also die in increments. Everyday, things that hold memories for us of others slip away. A bookstore closes. An old house that was red gets painted blue. Roger Ebert dies. And the things we went back to – subconsciously or consciously – to remind us of someone start to disappear as well. And that’s kinda-almost-maybe-coulda-cried sad.

But, the bright side (and there is a bright side), is we also continue living in increments. How crazy is it that we pass something of ourselves onto seemingly inanimate objects? Or TV personalities that we’ve never actually met? They hold something of us for the people who know us – and hold the key. Like one of those old lock boxes in train stations. And that makes me kinda-almost-maybe-coulda-smiled happy. And definitely worth a thumbs up.

The question then becomes – what memories are you unconsciously creating for others? What people, places, and things are you loading with meaning that won’t fully sink in until you ship out… or at least, move cross country?"
rogerebert  2013  death  relationships  incremental  increments  memory  memories  connections  triggers  subconscious 
april 2013 by robertogreco
This is just the beginning – Are you thinking inside out?
"Google+ is both trying to replicate offline social network structures (w/ circles) & build social network structures that are unique to online world (w/ following, & w/ fact that anyone can add anyone to a circle, independent of whether these people have met offline). Is this the best approach? No-one knows…<br />
<br />
…science…most of our behavior is driven by non-conscious brain, not by conscious brain…refutes much of our understanding of how the world works. When we meet people, for first time, or for ten thousandth time, there are far too many signals for the conscious brain to take in, analyze, and compute what to do. So our non-conscious brain does the analysis for us, & delivers a feeling, which determines how we react and how we behave. It’s our non-conscious brain that will be deciding which social network succeeds & which one fails. It’s going to take most, if not all, of our lifetime to figure out what is happening in the non-conscious brain. This is just the beginning."
psychology  socialnetworking  google+  facebook  relationships  pauladams  via:preoccupations  online  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  brain  science  consciousawareness  subconscious  gutfeelings  feelings  instinct  2011  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
A VC: Subconscious Information Processing
"My dad made me stay up very late that night until I had completed it. And he stayed up with me. He made sure I understood two things that evening. The first one is obvious. When assigned something, you do it and you do it on time.

But the second thing he explained to me was more subtle and way more powerful. He explained that I should start working on a project as soon as it was assigned. An hour or so would do fine, he told me. He told me to come back to the project every day for at least a little bit and make progress on it slowly over time. I asked him why that was better than cramming at the very end (as I was doing during the conversation).

He explained that once your brain starts working on a problem, it doesn't stop. If you get your mind wrapped around a problem with a fair bit of time left to solve it, the brain will solve the problem subconsciously over time and one day you'll sit down to do some more work on it and the answer will be right in front of you."
fredwilson  projectbasedlearning  creativity  business  information  productivity  time  procrastination  subconscious  thinking  attention  subconsciousinformationprocessing  2011  persistence  howwework  howwelearn  timeliness  parenting  tcsnmy  advice  wisdom  pbl  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
What the science of human nature can teach us : The New Yorker
"cognitive revolution…provides different perspective on our lives…emphasizes relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q…

We’ve spent generation trying to reorganize schools to make them better, but truth is people learn from people they love…

…she communicated distinction btwn mental strength & mental character…stressed importance of collecting conflicting information before making up mind…calibrating certainty level to strength of evidence…enduring uncertainty for long stretches as answer became clear…correcting for biases…

…gifts he was most grateful for had been passed along by teachers & parents inadvertently…official education was mostly forgotten or useless…

There weren’t even words for traits that matter most—having sense of contours of reality, being aware of how things flow, having ability to read situations the way a master seaman reads rhythm of ocean."
psychology  neuroscience  science  brain  culture  toshare  tcsnmy  learning  whatmatters  emotions  emotionalintelligence  eq  davidbrooks  uncertainty  relationships  teaching  education  careers  consciousness  cognitiverevolution  cognition  morality  preceptiveness  cv  observation  connections  connectivism  love  bias  character  certainty  reality  schools  unschooling  deschooling  people  society  flow  experience  racetonowhere  fulfillment  happiness  subconscious  shrequest1  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The man who wore my password - Neven Mrgan's tumbl
"So that really long, really tricky password shouldn’t be on a sweaty dude’s shirt in a pizza shop, it really shouldn’t. Yet there it was. For a few seconds I entertained the idea that I had entered a Matrix/Inception world where people and signs were basically UI elements. I pondered tapping my password, and felt a little disappointed in The Architect for showing it in plain text, no bullet-point obfuscation or anything.

Then rationality kicked in and I figured I’d work my way backwards: how had I picked my non-word, non-pet password in the first place? My three passwords are sounds that for one reason or another get lodged in my brain; this makes them impossible to forget, though not so easy to figure out independently."
nevenmrgan  passwords  memory  humor  rationality  security  subconscious  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco

related tags

advice  alienation  ancestry  attention  bias  brain  business  careers  certainty  character  childhood  cognition  cognitiverevolution  connections  connectivism  consciousawareness  consciousness  creativity  culture  cv  davidbrooks  death  deschooling  education  edwidgedanticat  emotionalintelligence  emotions  eq  exile  experience  facebook  feelings  fiction  flow  fredwilson  fulfillment  garnettecadogan  google+  gutfeelings  haiti  happiness  history  howwelearn  howwework  howwewrite  humor  identity  immigration  incremental  increments  information  instinct  interviews  learning  listening  literature  love  memories  memory  migration  morality  motherhood  neuroscience  nevenmrgan  nikkigiovanni  noticing  observation  observing  online  parenting  passwords  patriciaengle  pauladams  pbl  people  persistence  preceptiveness  procrastination  productivity  projectbasedlearning  psychology  racetonowhere  rationality  reality  relationships  rogerebert  schools  science  security  shrequest1  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  society  subconscious  subconsciousinformationprocessing  tcsnmy  teaching  thinking  time  timeliness  toshare  triggers  uncertainty  unschooling  via:preoccupations  whatmatters  whywwewrite  wisdom  writing 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: