the veiled sibyl

I have heard and said more inanities, since you took me in tow, than in all the rest of my life.

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like a dripping faucet

Monday, March 28, 2005

leaving my boots

I could not get to sleep last night. I had that strange sensation in which one is conscious of one's own heartbeat. Not palpitations - that word conjures up the idea of a fluttering or rapid heart. This was simply the awareness of the beating. There seems like there should be some perfectly lovely French word to describe this, but of course, I wouldn't know it even if it existed.

The weekend was characteristically uneventful. I read voraciously - odd since I have really not read anything of late. My requirements for reading have become a little perverse in that I can't take a "normal" read any longer. I crave the confusing, the difficult and the out-of-sync to the extent that I dismiss anything that is clear-cut as unworthy of my time. (Still not up for a go at Finnegan though - I've not gone completely off my nut!)

I wonder what accounts for one's "taste" in literature? In the matter of "liking" or "favoring" a work, an author, a genre, what is it that accounts for the liking or the favoring? I used to think that what I admired was a paucity of words - prose reduced to the bare minimum necessary to convey the point (think The Sun Also Rises vs. anything by Dickens). But then I count Faulkner as my "favorite" author. Is it then subject matter? Or perhaps the treatment of the subject matter? I don't know enough about literature to answer those questions, which is fine because none of it matters anyway. And what about those many things I have greatly disliked in the reading, but when done had an immediate and immeasurable fondness for? (Absalom! Absalom! for instance.) What if I had put down the book two sentences into it as I desired instead of carrying it out to the finish? Would anything change? Doubtless it would not. So why think of it? These are the questions that I pondered last night as I listened to my heart beating. (A wiser person would have turned on the light and read something, but then there would be the choosing of what to read. . .)

Through all the muddied haze of pseudo-literary and quasi-intellectual thought, I realized why I have such an appreciation of Beckett. The reason is quite simple. I am a living personification of a Beckett character. Thoroughly and completely. Simply examine the drivel I just wrote if you have any question of the accuracy of my statement.



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