Friday, 15 June 2007

a while back a friend sent me a copy of Jack Kerouacs thirty essential 'Beliefs and Techniques for Modern Prose'. The whole list is strange to say the least, not quite adhering to what one would expect from a guide to writing. Number 14 though resonated with me in its strangeness:
"Like Proust be an old teahead of time"
I couldn't make any sense of this and was keen to find some sort of explanation.
My initial search led me to believe he was a 'pothead'. probably not a far stretch for a writer, but this didn't seem to sit quite right.
Anyway, I pulled a book of essays off my shelf the other day called 'Timepieces' by Drussilla Modjeska. I bought it years ago after partly reading Stravinsky's Lunch (sadly i never finished). Anyway, I was randomly leafing through and Prousts name jumped off the page and slapped me in the face.
Here's what I found:

"I think I'm a temporiser. It's a term Andre Aciman uses of himself, and of a certain sort of memorist, of whom the greatest- the incomparable- example, is Proust. Temporising, in Aicman's view, is an attitude of mind which develops in certain people who can find themselves engulfed, even tipped off balance, by the sadness of the present. "The incurable imperfection in the very essence of the present", Proust says..... they slip into other time frames; in other words, they play with time. They propel themselves into wishful thinking, fantasising, all kinds of story telling, as a way of coaxing life into more controllable possibilities. They return to a troubled present once it has passed and reconsider it from a safer vantage point. A life of imagination, lived on the page, takes on a reality that can be a powerful as the reality their body inhabits."
(page 75)

It all makes perfect sense. Imagine living your life not in the present, but outside this moment, only to return when the dust has settled and take it all in, analyse from an objective standpoint.
To the active mind, I think, analysis offers a 'safe' way of dealing with issues; with emotions. As the analyst, you objectify what is happening around you, to you.
Callous and un-compassionate? or simply protecting my most fragile asset? My heart.

1 comment:

Becca said...
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