Friday, February 03, 2006

Two caesurae

For a short time, I wrote and rewrote the introduction to reflections on Tom McCarthy's novel Remainder. There seemed so much to say about it and about fiction in general. Others have felt the urge too. The excellent new blog The Midnight Bell for example, and Splinters-but-not-me. What happened to that time?

Lately, I've started another piece, adding to the pile. It's an attempt at a commentary on and summary of Blanchot's review-essay of Jean Paulhan's The Flowers of Tarbes. And today, ReadySteadyBook pops up with a great surprise: Michael Syrotinski's introduction to his new translation of the latter. Oh Manchester, so much to answer to.

Despite this accumulation of projects prompting and blocking other projects, I do not despair, very much. I take heart from Walter Benjamin.
To great writers, finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they work throughout their lives. For only the more feeble and distracted take an inimitable pleasure in conclusions, feeling themselves thereby given back to life. For the genius each caesura, and the heavy blows of fate, fall like gentle sleep itself into his workshop labour. About it he draws a charmed circle of fragments.
Even if I don't really understand what it means.

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