Practical Complicated Grief quotations
Miss Havisham is a glitch in the smooth functioning of the Patriarchy, enforcing awareness of a moment of social disaster and personal shame, something it seems she would want us to forget (but no one would forget). (Maybe an interesting "discussion question" for readers of Complicated Grief might be, "What do Terry Barton and Miss Havisham have in common?"?)
The most important aspect of writing the pieces that make up this eighth book was yielding to my obsessive side, letting my own "complicated grief" in on the process. You can imagine how tempting it is to try to fight the part of you that loops and loops, caught up in tangled sorrow from which it seems there's no escape.
Complicated Grief was written in larger and more coherent (if disparate) shapes.
The question was how they fit together. The mind is coherent, trust that was the best writing advice I ever got (I got it from Carole Maso and I pass it on). It's true, and clearer and clearer as one grows and gains an improved sense of who one actually is (as versus who one was supposed to be).
With Complicated Grief I can say that there was a certain simplification in the process. Getting older means less wasted effort, things are clearer earlier. Being young meant flailing around a lot, especially as I was trying to invent new shapes without a ton of models.
And Complicated Grief is a text that announces, from the start, in its citation of influence, dense intertextuality and hybridity, a failure of some apparent or usual protections, and a need to re-examine "identity" in the light of an acknowledgement of our entanglements and interdependence.
It's better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won't get it.