Wednesday, October 22, 2014

LABORIOUS KITCHEN OF LITERATURE

Death and the morning after 

Sleepwalker on a tightrope


All that was left was what never was …

So these were sentences I found in a random word document I had. Not sure if they were song lyrics or things I had written down from listening to podcasts or audiobooks. But I stand by my decision to keep these words!

Just a gate along the road.
The next day ... and now back to The Charterhouse of Parma. I am reading the afterword by the translator, Richard Howard, and an essay about Stendahl by Balzac. There are several nice quotable ideas here.

from Richard Howard

... Grasshopper prose, and there is no pleasure to be taken in it if it is not attended to by presence of mind.

That sentiment certainly echoes the comments of Samuel Taylor Coleridge as quoted in my last post. And that was a challenge for me in reading The Charterhouse; I was sometimes not bringing presence of mind to it.

from Balzac

I am incapable of compromise with the truth, that is all.

Feeling, in short, is equivalent to talent. To feel is the rival of to understand as to act is the opposite of to think. The friend of a man of genius can raise himself to his level by affection, by understanding. In matters of the heart, an inferior man may prevail over the greatest artist. There lies the justification of those women who fall in love with imbeciles. 

That is the lot that awaits all books in which there is nothing vulgar. The secret ballot in which vote one by one and slowly the superior minds who make the name of such works, is not counted until long afterwards ...

Now Stendahl back to Balzac

The laborious kitchen of literature might well have given me a distaste for the pleasure of writing ...

... most rascals are given over to over-emphasis and eloquence ...







































I don't always get around to reading the afterwords and such, particularly after such a long slog. But I am glad I did. I am not all the way through it yet, but I have had enough for tonight. And you may well have had enough yourself.

As for me, well, still here, still struggling. That said, there is a soft and pleasant autumnal rain falling outside. AKA made a stellar stellar quiche that the three of us had a hard time not consuming in one sitting. MMA had been to a Fall Book preview in NYC and came back with lots of swag (free books) and plenty of dinner conversation fodder.

1 comment:

  1. I think both lines are keepers
    i like your lines too

    ReplyDelete