TEXT prose


Pawel Cholewa




To repeat oneself; something I always do, but I sincerely don’t have the stamina for it, which also doesn’t make sense because the nature of current projects and investigations and inquiries all have a cyclical and spherical and mirrored repetitious nature. Why then is it so difficult to communicate repetitiously in speech and human communication? I find that only one of my good anecdotes has a genuinely good telling or re-telling, and after that everything comes out dry and drawl and drawn out, despite how interesting the whole operation was or is or appears to be. It’s a tragedy and a gamble because the one(s) on the receiving end are never necessarily deserving of the decent or the good or the animated (re)telling, or they are the ones that don’t appreciate it. I don’t think they realise how much energy goes into these tellings – these yarns, for some more than others. And they, like I too I suppose, are there vacantly and somewhat patiently merely waiting for their turn to speak.

I sigh and I groan and I wish I could pick my audience better or more accurately. One after the other after the other. I can’t do it, and these days it’s only getting worse – more difficult. Maybe if I could re-tell my tellings in a different language? At least then there would be a new colour and a flourish to the anecdotes. Meanwhile, I have to endure and suffer the knowledge that people in general simply don’t find me as interesting or charismatic as I actually am. I know this. I’ve seen the various and varied looks of surprise, excitement or lack thereof when I communicate freely, or otherwise do not have the capacity, the energy, the muster, the jus to do so. And then again, maybe I should be a mute – communicate with my gestures and mannerisms rather than use my words. My words I can save for the page, the printed or typed page, even freehand, maybe (I’m probably too young for that, to be honest). But at least then the ‘tellings’ only ever have to occur once. Save them, print them, reproduce them, stick them off to the sides, insides, corridors of buildings or to mountains – who gives a shit. They’re there, and they’ll be there, and they will continue to be there after I’m gone if I can learn to store them properly or mass produce and/or reproduce them on a scale so that they will only very slowly die out through passive negligence and the natural order of the ages.

Though by the time that happens I’ll be long gone, and I’m still very uncertain as to whether or not I care about caring for a legacy. Being an atheist, sensing that nothing happens after death, as an afterthought. Alas, I am somewhat partial to a vague notion of spirituality and the belief that a spirit will endure somewhere, or in/onto something else, elsewhere, like a phantom split into particles beyond, and outward, susceptible to something or an other. In any case, repetition, I hate it. Can’t stand it. Refuse to do it – more and more. Reproduction on the other hand – this I can take. This is easy. It requires a completely different kind of energy – an organisational energy, which I have; an ability to order and to structure things. This I can do. I’ll work on it now.




This piece fictocritically and autobiographically describes one’s temperament and characteristics without actually really describing anything ‘real’ or occurring/active about the events within one’s autobiography.

It is about the repetition of language moreso than any events or instances in life, which had or have a repetitious nature. And that is largely what Roland Barthes’ inspirational Roland Barthes is about; describing a life of language moreso than a life itself – a life invested in language in which all thought processes and occurrences immerse themselves within a psyche and a psychology controlled and molded by the parameters of language, and perhaps the limitations of vocabulary and dialect itself.

In a journal article called ‘The Exegesis and the Gentle Reader/Writer’ Jeri Kroll describes higher degree candidates as firing ‘shots, if not always on their own behalf, on behalf of those writers or theorists they admire and want to emulate’ (9). What Kroll is encouraging here is the ability or even the necessity to wear your influences on your sleeves – there is nothing shameful about wanting to, at times or in small doses perhaps, mimicking the style and format of a writer you respect and appreciate if you want to get your idea across in a particular way.

I have often considered the impossibility of doing (writing) anything essentially ‘original’, and the liberation and freedom one can attain from simply admitting this – knowing it. In this piece I feel that I successfully get my point about repetitiousness across whilst simultaneously paying my respects to Roland Barthes and the ways in which he breaks down language to reveal certain truths, and also the ways in which those truths reflect the ‘self’ more truthfully and uniquely:

he somewhat fetishizes language, these real divisions are absorbed in their interlocutive form: it is interlocution which is divided, alienated: hence he experiences the entire social relationship in terms of language. (Barthes 168)

Here, Barthes conveys his point in a much more elegant way. Though the same frustrations exist as in my piece above, they are held back, scholarly. Extracts such as this one have and will certainly be used as a ‘bouncing off point’ for my own work. And the fact that Barthes writes/speaks in the third person, though I’m not sure exactly why that is – perhaps it is a professional distancing of the self from the language which binds him and which he is trying to explore and discuss in his autobiography. To what end though, I am still uncertain. My initial thoughts on the matter were of distancing myself, or distancing the reader, from the content that was overly personal in this project, though now I am starting to think that there may be a much more elegant solution to this, in which writing in the (covert) third person can serve as a kind of interlude or ‘buffer’ between pieces, holding them together to form a greater whole.

Maybe the admittance of this (the appropriation or emulation of work or of a particular style), rather than guarding oneself and one’s work in a territorial display of denial and a false ‘genius’, foregoing the ‘ego’ and simply accepting the fact that the work is derivative and that the style is clearly borrowed from another (an inevitability in this day and age, whether one means to do so or not), provides a kind of relief and a modest level of adequate originality by its own merit.

As I am extremely new to creative writing and the liberally adopted methodology of fictocriticism as a ‘discipline’ I feel that I lack a certain degree of discipline in these early premeditative stages, and that I also lack an artistic ‘ego’ that has not fully matured or developed yet. I have no doubt that it will come – it always does, for most, I think, but while I am not burdened with this belief and this false sense of ‘self’ and ‘ego’ just yet I aim to write explosively in these early days because now I am unencumbered and much more carefree in my style, format, content and general (or generic, if you will) approach to fictocritical creative writing.






My name is Pawel Cholewa. I’m 26. I’m from Melbourne but I now live in Central Queensland. I completed my Honours in Arts (English) and undergraduate studies at Monash University. I am undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. I engage with metafiction (and fictocriticism) and am currently building and working on a writing folio that reflects this kind of ideology. I work casually or part-time as a secondary school teacher of English, Humanities and English as a Second Language (ESL). The majority of my spare time is preoccupied with music production, which is probably a little more than a serious hobby to me.


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Vol 18 No 2 October 2014
General Editor: Nigel Krauth. Editors: Kevin Brophy, Enza Gandolfo & Linda Weste
Creative works editor: Anthony Lawrence