subota, 06.09.2008.

Paul West

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Kad se spomene osmi mjesec, uvijek se sjetim razbludnog vremena čaja u kolovozu.

Usred takvog kolovoza, cijeli jedan dan proveli smo tražeći ovaj fragment:

Epiphanies have been recorded in more lustrous ways, but this breathy rhetoric had to do; I was still chary of losing hydraulic balance, but it was a beginning, the beginning, harvested from phenomena almost by accident. With my first strokes (backstrokes) came a migraineur’s flashfire of hastily cobbled-together concepts that all of a sudden lost their technical aridity and fleshed out with beauty and momentum, their gleam fired by my apprenticeship. It is not dates or faces I recall when shocked out of my gourd, it is words – what are sometimes referred to as linguistic islands, as when Vladimir Nabokov uses poshlost, Julio Cortázar ‘‘anthropophany’’ (attributing the pun to Morelli the failed novelist), Gottfried Benn ‘‘an aristocratic form of emigration,’’ John Keats ‘‘negative capability,’’ Marcel Proust ‘‘involuntary memory,’’ Christopher Isherwood ‘‘I am a camera,’’ Nathalie Sarraute ‘‘subconversation,’’ Henry James ‘‘the obscene bird of night’’ (purloined by José Donoso), and Wallace Stevens ‘‘the palm at the end of the mind.’’ No mere slogans, these, but orchestrated epiphanies, choric glimpses intended to provide relief from long, complex texts, yet requiring a big dollop of ecumenical understanding on the reader’s part. I now thought I had gone far enough into the universe to figure out what these authors were getting at. Thus, I told myself, aglow with my breaking of the water barrier, I am advancing toward at least a toehold on their abiding concerns. Since I still swim, achieving maybe a B, I still am.

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