Last night, I started reading Burton Raffel’s recent translation of Stendahl’s The Red and the Black. It seemed almost an entirely new and better book from the first translation I read of it. I am an imperceptibly different person since I read it the first time. The text tempts me more. Desire takes hold.

My writing in the morning goes better than it has since summer began. It burdens me less and is no longer loathsome. The way I feel about my writing too often mirrors the way feel about myself. Some days, I absolutely need the writing to go well.

My feelings about reading and writing go hand in hand too. Neither work well unless they work well together. I recall reading Stendahl’s Charterhouse of Parma several years ago. I made several attempts to get into it, but always found it silly. Then the love story captured my imagination. I couldn’t put it down until I finished and even then I was tempted to immediately start reading it again. I recollect those days with Stendahl were days of good writing.

I am returning to a place I like: writing in the morning with a sense of peace and tranquility and purpose. Then reading a good book after the writing is done. The construction work on the new building across the street does not disturb me. The pounding almost comforts me as an antidote to a silence I do not want.

For me, writing means writing lots of words I must eventually throw away. I guess that is why I like writing this blog, even though I regret much of what I have written. I move on each day to a destination unknown. Writing intensifies and mutes desires in an almost contradictory manor. I don’t worry much about throwing words away.

At this time, I want to objectify rather than feel much at all. The passions are something to be studied rather than lived.

Anyway, the morning’s been spent. The petty challenges of the afternoon and evening await me. Then tomorrow comes with another couple of challenges. But after that…

Published in: on December 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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