Q: What do “apophasis’ and “bildungsroman” mean?
The simplest way I can explain apophasis is that it is a term used in theology to mean the way language is used as a tool to destroy the destructive power of language. Language can be used in two ways, the negative way, kataphasis, which assigns labels and literal descriptions which in a way destroy the unsaid. Apophasis on the other hand attempts to explain in a way that leaves infinity open for discovery. I go into depth about this in the prologue. Bildungsroman is a coming of age work, which is what this book essentially is for me.
Q: What kind of poetry is it?
There are two types of sonnets in English, the Shakespearian and Petrarchan/Spenserian. Although the sonnet format is no longer a popular form of poetry – the modern trend has been free verse – I was introduced to poetry through the sonnet, and so ended up mixing the free verse and the Shakespearian sonnet! This has been done with other forms of poetry such as the Haiku.
Q: How did you end up writing and publishing?
I never intended on getting this published. It started off initially as a birthday gift idea for my best friend, Khadija. I had wanted to print out all of our Facebook messages and make a book out of that. The first message was sent when I was eighteen and heading off to NYU for orientation, and the last one from when we were twenty-three and Khadija was doing her Bar in England and I was still trying to adjust to medical school. Why did we use Facebook messages as a medium for correspondence instead of Gmail? I have no idea quite frankly, it just started there and we wanted to keep the thread.
Alas, three thousand pages’ worth of correspondence ended up being a bigger read than War and Peace, so I decided against that (in the book I wrote two thousand, I went back and realized it was actually three thousand). Instead, as I started reading through all the messages, I ended up picking up general trends and themes. It was amazing to see growth in our thoughts and ideas, basically our whole adolescence was there in words. So those themes became ideas for poems, and it just took off from there. I showed one of my NYU friends some of my poems and he was the one who convinced me to publish them. With the help of my parents, sisters, and friends then I was able to complete this project and do that.