Thursday, November 30, 2006

es muss sien

"In the sunset of dissolution everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine" -M.K

When it comes to writing,Milan Kundera,in terms of characterization and my own fears and ideals,describes it best... "characters are not born like people, of woman;they are born of a situation, a sentence,a metaphor containing in a nutshell a basic human possibility that the author thinks no one else has discovered or said something essential about."

He goes on to say...."...the characters in my novels are my own unrealized possibilites. That is why I am equally fond of them all and equally horrified by them. Each one has crossed a border that I myself have circumvented. It is that crossed border which attracts me most...the novel is not the author's confession;it is an investigation of human life in the trap the world has become"

There is this amazing book I found discarded in the cold,damp basement of a 2 story colonial house I lived in,in New York(I've described this house before,now split into an upstairs and downstairs apt) The cover is torn and the pages are stained. From time and water and mildew and my own eager ink smudged fingers,I am sure. On the cover are a pair of womens delicate manicured hands balancing a bowler hat between it's index fingers. The picture has so many meanings,if only you'll flip open the cover and grace it's pages..or rather let it's pages grace you.

This novel (The Unbearable Lightness of Being,by Milan Kundera) is about two peoples relationship,four people intertwined really,who on a physical plain(the chechoslavakian republic in the 60's) have nothing at all in common with myself or anyone I've ever known. However, on an emotional level,is all of us. The funny thing(and whole point of this blog entry) is the title of my Blog..*A return after long wanderings*.. This has forever been in my mind, well not forever but seemingly as far back as I can remember. I thought always that this title,this short set of words had been birthed from my own poetic soul. I would say that were I to ever complete a novel this would be it's title,or something quite similar. However,I must apologize to Mr. Kundera for this assumption!

Towards the end of the novel one of the characters dies,his son decides to have carved on his headstone....a return after long wanderings. My heart slammed inside my chest while sitting at my cubicle. I had stolen this phrase?! I hadn't even realized it. I'd like to think,poetically,that Mr. Kundera and my own creative abilites are so in sync that the same phrase birthed from our souls with out any knowledge of the others writing. But I can't accept, or take credit for,that. Somewhere along the way this book simply spoke to me on such a direct link that the phrase stuck in my "poetic memory" and I adopted it as my own. So in apology to you Mr. Kundera, but also in thanks, for a beautifull phrase and an amazing book.

Here are some of the many quotes from the novel that I love so much.

pg. 209 "I have said before that metaphors are dangerous. Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory"

pg. 139 "the only truly serious questions are ones that even a child can formulate. Only the most naive of questions are truly serious. they are the questions with no answers. A question with no answer is a barrier that cannot be breached. In other words, it is questions with no answers that set the limits of human possibilites, describe the boundries of human existence."

pg.89 "Being a woman is a fate Sabina did not choose. What we have not chosen we cannot consider either out merit or our failure. Sabina beleived that she had to assume the correct attitude to her unchosen fate. To rebel against being born a woman seemed as foolish to her as to take pride in it"

2 Comments:

Blogger Alissa said...

I've read that. I didn't remember the quote, however. So we can just pretend it's yours!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I wouldn't have known the difference if you hadn't told me. I haven't read the book...

10:58 PM  

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