for my second assignment for LF, before i had a proper dissertation, when i was operating under a title that i no longer remember because it existed solely for the purpose of getting me into king's and i had absolutely no idea what i was doing, i wrote this stuff about jackie and 9/11.
and it was after joe had died but before martha died and i had just moved into my proper london apartment but did not have a desk, so i knelt on a pillow before my coffee table and banged out this weird shit about how jackie's story and the story of 9/11 were linked.
these were strange days. submerged in grief. spent watching the news footage of the jfk assassination and the coverage of 9/11 because i knew i could take it and for some reason it seemed to essential to see how stories begin.
that is where i was when i wrote this.
LF wrote on that draft the second highest praise i ever got from her. she wrote: this seems like an original thought.
i was in paris when i picked it up again. two years ago, facebook tells me. when i spent a week at the top of a ten floor walk-up and shared a toilet with a man i never met. and i was there to write my critical piece but this stuff on 9/11 kept coming out.
i submitted that article a few months later.
then i submitted my phd and went to paris and then a week before my viva i got the readers reports. one of which was "THIS IS GROUND-BREAKING AND HOW WE SHOULD BE DOING ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND WRITING FROM THIS POINT FORWARD!!!!" the other of which was like, girl, FUCK NO.
and i vivaed and went to paris and thought, well i'm never going near that thing again!
and then there, a month ago, when i should've been working on another article, all i wanted in the world was to return to this one.
it pulled at my heart.
amazing how the thing you once hated is the only thing you want when a far more frustrating thing waltzes into the picture.
amazing how terribly fucking long it takes for one's thinking to catch up with the idea with which one began. how much effort goes into extending the brain to make sense of the intangible thing you noticed decades ago, to make it mean something, and to argue for the value of whatever that meaning might be.
i feel like the point of so much of my work is simply: THIS HAPPENED.
and perhaps also: why have we forgot?