Monday 10 March 2008

The Book of Longing

I always start the process of blogging by re-reading what I wrote yesterday. I want to edit out some of the mistakes I make, if I finish today early enough shall do that. Mistakes in grammar mainly, not many.

Naipaul made Theroux swear that he would not write poetry. Theroux was unpublished at 24 when they met. Naipaul recognised his talent, Th was writing and had shown what he wrote to no one.

Here's what Naipaul said about keeping a diary (or a journal like this?):

...he analyzed my keeping a journal and rejected the idea. I must abandon it, he said. It was just a way of anthologizing experience. A writer was not a writer because things happened around him. A writer did other things. A diary, more detailed, was worse - I should not even think about it. (p.114)

Part two of the book which I am now well into and where the above excerpt is from is called The Writer's Writer. Maybe I'll understand that at the end.

Regarding poetry:

I went to The Book of Longing performance last night at the MFC, we had cheap cheap seats overlooking the stage and it was fabulous, we could see everything that was happening and why and how, the conductor's image relayed via VDUs, the people coming and going, even read the writing around the drawings by LC and of LC that were projected on the backdrop - the poetry came out well, the Philip Glass music was faithful to LC, I felt it was related to Suzanne and I liked as well the solo performances by the musicians, (the drummer didn't get one), the music was lancinant that is a word I first met as a description of Beaudelaire's poetry, and of course longing is lancinant in its essence, the dictionary I've got - not the best - says that it translates as shooting (for pain), haunting (for obsessive) and insistent (in the case of a monotone). I think haunting is the best here, though lancinant is less ghostly. Translation of literature is a huge responsibility, almost like writing a new book.

Towards the end came the poem about LC's Roshi dying and right at the end LC's thank you poem said thank you to us, To my teachers and to everyone, it did not feel like a pose. Best of all they issued everyone with a little pamphlet of the libretto of the show, except that there were no names of performers, only Leonard C as author and Philip Glass, who was there in person playing one of the electronic whatsits, looking Jewish and a little dusty.

The 20 min are up.

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