how things get done – Margo Jefferson

The audience of a text, when you are writing from outside—becomes a chorus of damning or fetishizing or supportive or condescending voices.

MJ Yes! Because it’s a series of imagined audiences, as your “chorus” already indicates. And you’re projecting them, but they also have been projected onto you, as you know perfectly well. They are not in concert with one another; many of them are oppositional or suspicious of each other. But you speak in the language, the tongues that can address, maybe placate, and acknowledge all of them. Which can be absolutely overwhelming. Which takes us back to that opening scene—of me in the movie, the sense that everyone is requiring much too much of the performance. The problem is technical, partly. How do you work all that into an essay without seeming to rather desperately be gesturing toward these different constituencies?