dwalingen (3)

Een nieuw overzicht (eerder verzamelde links kun je hier en hier vinden) van door mij bewonderde interviews, essays, en/of andere soorten tekst.

Variations on the Right to Remain Silent, Anne Carson. Over vertalen, interpreteren, redenen om stil te zijn of te blijven; over Jeanne d'Arc en Francis Bacon.

› The Glass Essay, Anne Carson. Een lang gedicht over Emily Brontë, en andere dingen natuurlijk. Klein beetje:

    “Emily is in the parlour brushing the carpet,”
    records Charlotte in 1828.
    Unsociable even at home

    and unable to meet the eyes of strangers when she ventured out,
    Emily made her awkward way
    across days and years whose bareness appalls her biographers.

    This sad stunted life, says one.
    Uninteresting, unremarkable, wracked by disappointment
    and despair, says another.

    She could have been a great navigator if she’d been male,
    suggests a third. Meanwhile
    Emily continued to brush into the carpet the question,

    Why cast the world away.

The Actual World, Ben Lerner. Ik vond dit erg mooi. Lerner schrijft in dit essay over de grote ruimte die taal, en in dit geval fictie, biedt voor het schrijven over (fictieve) kunst (ekphrasis):

‘I’ve come to think that one of the powers of literature is precisely how it can describe and stage encounters with works of art that can’t or don’t exist, or how it can resituate actual works of art in virtual conditions. Literature can function as a laboratory in which we test responses to unrealized or unrealizable art works, or in which we embed real works in imagined conditions in order to track their effects.

(..) For me, at least at the moment, the novel, not the poem, is the privileged form for the kind of virtuality I’m describing. I think of the novel as a fundamentally curatorial form, as a genre that assimilates and arranges and dramatizes encounters with other genres: poetry, criticism and so on. 

(..) Prose fiction can allow you to offer a robust description of all the epiphenomena and contingencies involved in a particular character’s encounter with a particular work: it allows you to place that encounter in a character’s life, time, day, describing not only a quality of light in a gallery, but what the character has read or eaten or smoked, what was on his or her mind on that morning or evening, what protest they passed on the way to the museum, etc. (I’m hardly claiming poetry can’t do this; Ashbery’s 1975 ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror’ – inspired by Parmigianino’s early 16th-century painting – certainly does.) The novel is an art work in which you can embed other art works – real or imagined – in a variety of thickly described artificial environments in order to test a character’s responses. And it can follow the way an art work enters the memory and spreads out into other domains of a character’s experience, as in Marcel Proust’s mention of ‘Le petit pan de mur jaune’ (little patch of yellow wall) in À la recherché du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time, 1913–27). (As to whether or not it corresponds to any particular detail in Johannes Vermeer’s 1660–61 painting View of Delft, I’m told there’s still no consensus among critics.) The absorptiveness and virtuality of the novel make it a testing ground for aesthetic experiment and response.’

› Woolf's Darkness: Embracing the Inexeplicable, Rebecca Solnit:

‘“The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think,” Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal on January 18, 1915, when she was almost thirty-three years old and the First World War was beginning to turn into catastrophic slaughter on an unprecedented scale that would continue for years. (..) Woolf, however, might have been writing about her own future rather than the world’s.’

› Walking, Researching, Remembering: W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn as Essay, Patrick Madden. Een essay over stijl. Madden onderzoekt de eigenschappen van Sebalds De Ringen van Saturnus, probeert aan te geven waarom het boek volgens hem misschien wel een essay is.

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