Sunday, April 28, 2013

A few random reflections on ideas around form.

Of late i find myself veering increasingly towards the idea of 'form'. And form as artifice, as a writer's attempt to cohere and sheathe a work of art. Form as such has no ontology, no teleological state. Form is much like creativity in that it accumulates lineaments and depths as we go along the way. Even formlessness is a kind of form. After all a thing exists not just by itself but in relation to what it is not. Formlessness does not negate form but reinscribes it as an artifact.

Sometimes i notice that giving oneself a tight structure or a putatively foreclosed form proliferates content. Form essentially draws attention to its navigable, negotiable space. It attests the boundaries that contain it yet by itself form is uncontainable. In a sense a form is like a definition, a category in that it transforms unintelligible epistemelogical, discursive domains into comprehensible structures. Love sonnets for example or Mills and boons romance novels or the golden age detective novels are examples of form , an integument that proffers its space for misshapen, capacious experience to be circumscribed into a retroactively pre determined signification.

From the point of view of readership form is both necessary yet extraneous in that while the architectonics of the form , distilled collectively, are acknowledged the content they encapsulate spills out. The subjectivity of the act of reading renders circumscriptions of form apocryphal. In other instances form, as a rigidly deployed category can be used to encompass content which the conventions of the form render inadmissible. Form becomes, then, a technique of attenuation wherein that which is assumed or purported to be said dissolves its self imposed rigidity and oozes out unconscious stuff. Sometimes the act of doing so may be conscious.

Form, ipso facto, is infinitely adaptable, capable of being variously reconfigured. A shakespearian sonnet differs from a plath sonnet in its construction and architecture. Form implies putative progression, a movement from chaos to order. Somewhere form is regression, a dispossession of indeterminacy, a propulsive progressive paradigm, into straitjackets and superimposed naturalized compartments. Form, in itself, is not inviolable. It is a pattern into which the vessel of multiplicity is poured and funneled into acceptable paradigms. Yet the hourglass of form can never give an exact measure of the unknown quantity it represents. Form works because it is capable of reconstitution, reconstruction, revivification . It is an unwieldy garment in that it will ensconce the frame but the frame will stretch, expand retract to readjust itself within the folds of the garment.

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