Monday 30 June 2008

On the nature of obsession

Managing to work today and yesterday. Schedule mapped out for the rest of the day. I shall pay the bills at midday, not before.

Am reading more Paul Celan whom I find stunning, though as always, so sad.
A friend lent me poetry by Aba Kovner (Israeli poet) and Nelly Sachs (German), published together in an English translation by Penguin (1995), in the series Modern European Poets. Read most of it last night (slim).

I want to be impressed by poets and poetry, to have my consciousness raised by them about how to write well. This afternoon we'll be in town, shall return my overdue books to the library and look for Robert Hass's poetry and bio.

Discussing Rilke with G. About the language that I deem excessive, she said: - but he is in ecstasy.

Have been listening to Kate Bush and downloaded the words of her ballad on Pi, for our ballad exercise. The song is lovely, but the words and the meaning do not seem that special to me. Is my perception blunted ?
I was interested to find out what triggered her writing on this topic, but no luck. So many mathematicians have been involved with defining Pi.

"...with an obsessive nature..."
Any deliberate and continuous focus is always deemed 'obsessive' by those outside it - by that measure Cezanne was 'obsessive', so was Rilke, and in fact almost anyone who sets themselves a goal (Kate Bush? The monks in Into great silence?) must 'obsess' about it. (This is not an original thought.)
The DSM-IV or whatever number it is now would call obsessive what 'gets in the way of normal functioning', like repetitive handwashing or compulsive checking. Activities which do not create anything, which can prevent any creativity from occurring. Does that apply to finding out the value of Pi at x decimal points?

Never mind.

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