Kristi Maxwell
In/An Addition: An Evolving Poetics            (page 2)

I don’t think of writing as a solitary act; for one, it consistently makes me less alone. It is…no…it has to be…no…I need it to be an activity that enlarges, rather than isolates. Perhaps this also relates to how so many of us find ourselves using reading (in the object-relating sense), following Michel de Certeau’s lead in “Reading as Poaching” and rejecting the notion of consumption as passive—rejecting the notion of being solely inscribed by texts and, instead, accepting reading as a space of creative engagement where addition is reciprocal, where reader and text gain. Inviting writing in—I can write because writing exists in me. A mortar with which to clot holes. An air with which to hold spaces open.

Like for so many others, the practice of reading is inextricably bound, for me, to the practice of writing. I fill my margins with misreadings, or, less damagingly, with re-readings, slurring surfaces, eye-drunk, eye draping what it sees—adding to it, lovingly addling it. Early on, I realized how this practice changes the authority of textual bodies, of the privileged body of the text (and, analogously, privileged bodies in the world), centers surrounded by margins that have the potential to de-center those centers. This realization ties to why the footnote seduces me—why the endnote does and the track changes boxes and acknowledged variants that hold the other of the text, the else. I’m excited when critical frames shift, becoming poetic forms.

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