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Anxiety (Sarah Treem)

Par Sarah Treem
Publié par Clifford Armion le 16/05/2014

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Chaque année, les invités des Assises Internationales du Roman rédigent la définition d'un mot de leur choix : il s'agit ici du mot "anxiety", défini par l'auteure américaine Sarah Treem.

Not the daily, run-of-the-mill, have-I-returned-all-my-telephone calls anxiety, but the larger, paradoxical, existential anxiety that defines our humanness. My characters are anxious people. They are aware of how paradoxical it is to be alive. How difficult it is to make sense of their own contradictory impulses. They are often younger characters, on the brink of transition, who have just started to recognize the hypocrisy of the waking world. They have suddenly heard the cacophony and chaos of ordinary speech. They gag on the false food of platitude and expectations. They know there is something off. But they fear that they themselves are the problem. That they’re out of sync. One day they will come to understand that their insecurity is normal. Perhaps, actually, the defining characteristic of being conscious. But at the moment that I tend to catch them, they haven’t yet stumbled upon the awareness, that Truth with a capital T does not exist in one declarative sentence or another, but rather, is made murkily manifest somewhere in the interplay between two minds. So, not knowing this, they exist in a state of heightened anxiety. Sensing there is something just beyond the horizon of their perception. A secret. A clue. Something that will clear up the confusion. And yet they can’t see it. Every time they try to look at it directly, the clarity recedes from their vision, like a star. That makes them angry. Afraid. And yet, they push forward. I find them as they begin to cross the staggering bridge of endless distance between two consciousnesses. And as they do so, reaching out for another person, they become increasingly aware that they are exquisitely alone.


Pour citer cette ressource :

Sarah Treem, "Anxiety (Sarah Treem)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 21/06/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/anxiety-sarah-treem-