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  • Writer's pictureDamiaan van der Werf

Foreword to the Task of Writing

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

For as long as I can recall my involvement with thought, accompanied by genuine comprehension and a sufficient sense of its implications, I have in turn felt stimulated to preserve the better portion of my considerations. The procession of years has solidified this indiffusible compulsion, culminating in this at once resolute and strained venture—and whyever is it so strained? Surely by no cause of a scarcity of imagination? Conversely, it is rathermore the boundlessness of the task that would inevitably arise from an authentic and sustained effort to satisfy these aspirations that has until now enshackled me. One fares well to refrain from casting aspersions in spite of one’s incapacity, nonetheless I find these difficulties in part owing to morbus temporis. Our present informational inundation is of such a historically unparalleled magnitude so as almost inescapably to result in cerebral overwhelment; that is, on account of the limitless multitude of matters to which one could address oneself, rather than to any failure of the understanding—perhaps it is more fairly characterised as ethical overwhelment?

For my part, it could only have been remedied by a protracted convalescence, owing to factors both typical and heterodox. On the one hand, to refine oneself and one’s medium and to overcome creative obstacles both material and phantasmic will be a familiar struggle to many—can I rightly claim it is any more than that? More distinctively—and it would be a disservice to myself, as well as ahistorical, to fail to account for this—the task of writing beckons at the tail end of a near-decade of seclusion, during which my introspective and linguistic capacities were significantly refined by means of an enduring involvement with literature—twicefold in written and aural form—courtesy of the horizonless aetherium spatium. The preconditions thereof are multifaceted and require considerable disclosure in order to adequately communicate. Since that is ancillary to my purposes here, further divulgence would be misplaced—suffice it to say that this autobiographical dimension has been of the utmost consequence for my intellectual development and bears significantly on the manner of my current approach to thought, speech and written word.

Further to the task at hand, whatever the reasons for which I have come to attain the conviction, capacity and efficacy to inaugurate this undertaking, I find myself aglow with the eagerness to proceed—the relinquishment of indecision having cleared the ground so that form may now take root. Of those aforementioned and multifarious matters of interest… I approach them with increased discernment—the reason of discrimination remains ephemeral!—was reason an obstacle? Yet rather than reify these unfamiliar and inspirited energies by means of some blundering and—in retrospect undoubtedly—failed projection of whatever may follow hereafter, I intend to scatter the seeds widely. Make no mistake, they are firmly here in my palms! Who can say into what they will blossom in time?

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