Deconstructing Deconstruction

So I figure I’ve written enough reviews to figure that I need not write another. Was it worth it? Definitely.

At first, deconstructing everything is really painful. When I started, I could not watch or read anything without constantly thinking what I’m going to write about in my review. Whole sentences would be forming in my head as I saw a movie. I’d think of suitable adjectives as I read my book. I’d exhort myself to remember things to write in the review that would inevitably follow. I didn’t like it at all. But slowly, as the conscious act of deconstructing became more natural, it ceased to be a conscious act at all. All the very many movies I’d seen with one eye on the review have, it seems, greatly enhanced my appreciation of movies of general. I enjoy what I read now much more simply because I spent so much time obsessing about the essences, the details, the many layers of meaning. I guess writing all those reviews taught me to pay more attention, to see a new way of seeing. It taught me to recognise techniques, and recognise their application in variouses guises. How does one develop space in a story? How does one develop space in a song? If Tom Hanks is on a raft in the middle of the ocean and he’s tuning the radio, why did the writer choose that he tune into an old pop song? If a number is written on a wall in the hypercube, why does it start with 1111? One learns a lot when one pays attention.

But, even so, I feel I’ve written my last review for the time being. It’s getting harder and harder to whip up the enthusiasm for them. I’m running out of adjectives too :-) Sometimes I read reviews in the Sunday papers and thank my stars I don’t have to do it for a living. Besides, some things - and I believe that the best of art is like this - defy deconstruction. They frustrate any attempts at imposing order, or cliched sentences on them. They say more than you can put into words. With some things, it is better to just let them be.

Where deconstruction ends, poetry can start.