radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)

"Autumn Day"
Rilke
Trans. Stephen Mitchell

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
Will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander on the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)
Nice Sunday-night thing to do, post a books entry. So many other things I should be writing, or cleaning, or reading -- but I will tell you about some books.

I've read more books this year than last year, according to my GoodReads page, which is there only for the purpose of self-congratulation / self-flagellation and accounting -- although last year I didn't count all the books I read for reviewing, and this year I did.

I've read a lot of novels lately, despite the new job -- or rather because of it. I have an almost violent urge for cognitive escape, not because things are bad but because they are so overwhelming. I need to make my brain do Something Else, which Else is largely made up of midcentury novels by potty British authors. And rare perfumes.

I've burned through most of Penelope Fitzgerald. I can't get into The Blue Flower -- I know it's supposed to be the best one, but it seems so dry. The Beginning of Spring is my favorite. The brilliantly funny and dangerous prewar Russian setting.

Then a couple of the-other-Elizabeth-Taylors chosen at random -- A View of the Harbour sending me on a search for books about the UK seaside, which resulted in a recommendation for J.G. Farrell's Troubles, which may be the best book I've read this year.

Nothing I've read so far this year is a patch on either Satantango or The Hour of the Star, and I'm aware that this is because I haven't really challenged myself to read anything that experimental or style-driven. I mean there was Proust, but The Guermantes Way was the hard work without the world-sundering joy.

Vita Sackville-West's All Passion Spent -- that was only all right. A good idea for a book but not actually all that good a book. A bunch of graphic novels, too, more or less at random.

I notice that my "to read" books are mostly cooler and more difficult than my actually read ones. I suppose it's good to be confronted with the gap between my Ego-ideal and my... me.

Q: Have you noticed that reading a less difficult book at the same time as a challenging one can sort of boost the signal, so that the difficult book reads more smoothly?

- - - - - -

Last poetry group but one we spent two and a half hours solving the first nine of Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus like equations of the psyche. I think we all found it very rewarding -- very very close reading of our variant translations plus M's rusty German. As of this summer you can order a beer at the Solstice Cafe, so it's now perfect.

This time -- August-hot October day, no beer -- it was Baudelaire, and also very rich, but two new LOUD GUYS who took up SO MUCH SPACE showed up. One did have smart words in him, and he seemed to work out over the course of the conversation that sharing was good. The other was a pain in the ass. I was so overstimulated by the end from trying to wedge in something resembling equal conversational space for everyone around the table that I had to talk myself down from the anxiety for the next half-hour.

Ok gym. Swim some laps, try to burn through some work anxiety.

{rf}
radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander along the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.


Rilke's "Autumn Day" translated by the incomparable Stephen Mitchell
radfrac_archive: (And you wonder...)
Listened to Michael Silverblatt interview with Francine Prose about The Lives of the Muses -- she wrote The Blue Angel, a book I could see no purpose for, but Muses sounds like entertaining popular literary history.

Did you know that Lou Andreas-Salomé was the beloved of both Nietzsche and Rilke? Do you find that appalling? I can't imagine loving both of those men. Those minds, really. Except if I start to think about it, I can, and then the heart itself appalls me.

Does sexual attraction suppress empathy for the love object? I think in some ways it does. We become powerfully concerned with their happiness, but primarily inasmuch as it affects our own chances of getting laid, though we go to some effort to disguise this from the internal studio audience.

I think my great achievement of the weekend was getting [livejournal.com profile] argus_in_tights to take home the crème fraîche in a Tupperware container after the New Year's salon. Wrapped close under his coat for the bicycle ride home. It was that or scrape it out into the garbage. I can't eat it and [Bad username or site: inlandsea" @ livejournal.com] had plenty of dairy to contend with already. Fortunately [livejournal.com profile] argus_in_tights was too horrified to let that happen. (Or if not in the end, please don't disillusion me.)

{rf}

Profile

radfrac_archive: (Default)
radfrac_archive

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   1 23 4
567 89 1011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 21st, 2017 04:32 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios