Sunday, February 07, 2016


Tense, unnerved, and close to madness before writing–and when I read what I've written it looks so calm. 
An entry from January 1976 in Peter Handke's journal The Weight of the World. Forty years on its force remains, or at least still haunts me.

Isn't this the wonder and terror of writing, so that, for all the talk of its utility – how writing can report the reality of this or any other world, entertain us with a well-told yarn, bestow the joys of an imagination run wild and offer an outlet for tensions and nerves on the edge of madness – all writing and every book is an unspoken encounter with this polarity? What then would it mean to go towards the calm?

1 comment:

  1. I just came across Handke's "Absence" the other day. I've re-read in twice already. Absolutley stunning prose.



Stephen's currently-reading book montage

Summer in Baden-Baden
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War
My Secret History
Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
Luther: An Introduction to His Thought
Friedrich Hoelderlin: Selected Poems and Letters

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