“I told the dogwood what he said to the magnolia.” A Generative Workshop on Contemporary Epistolary Forms with Alina Stefanescu
April 14- 16, 2023
Dear John, I dreamt your dahlias died. It was exhilarating! But the point of this letter is different. Last week, I met Alberto Giacometti’s “Hands Holding the Void (The Invisible Object)” and found myself standing in the room’s perimeter trying to say something resilient about the sculpture in relation to the past. The slender, bronze limbs. The desolate female body. The fingers curling around something we can’t see. The things I wanted to say to you—and can’t. Her mask reminds me of the masks we used to wear when meeting each other during office hours. Obviously, everything is about that invisible object lost to the viewer. Or that’s how the story drops a hint to the reader. Isn’t it obscene that my use of direct address makes it seem as if I’m speaking to you directly—as if there is something intensely solid between us? This illusion of intimacy allows a writer to invent entire worlds from interiors. Anyway, I’d love to catch up on masks, epistolary forms, and weird metaphors with you this weekend. Since the plan includes writing letters to you, Giacometti, various sundry beasts, rotting trees, and pieces of furniture, I guess it’s what they call a generative workshop? Come be degenerate with me. Again, A.