Saturday, May 26, 2007

Weekend bleeding

Both the Inferno and, in particular, the Purgatorio glorify the human gait, the measure and rhythm of walking, the footstep and its form. The step, linked with breathing and saturated with thought, Dante understood as the beginning of prosody.
Lately, rather than write in my minimal spare time, I've gone out walking or cycling. Not in order to get away from writing but in order to get back to it. Mandelstam's words above reminded me. Not writing is when I feel that I am making headway; writing. One steps through doubt; the tyres hurtle on toward the completion of thought. Perhaps too fast.

The physical act of writing is itself a time of stasis, non-time. Almost non-thinking too. Anti-thought instead perhaps, thinking against the ease of movement. I don't like it. It's why I write so little and say the same thing, more or less, so often. I also walk and cycle the same few routes.

So, I was (somehow) thinking: are there any (literary) subjects you think I should write about instead?


  1. Heartbeats mean thinking beats time right? I see rhythm inescapably tied with literature, congratulations for finding your starter.

    The Hood Company

  2. Anonymous9:26 am

    Once I cut out an article by William Boyd on the painting Office at night by Edward Hopper, wonderful. And I have kept somewhere Alan Bennett on Everett Millais's Isabella.

    I was reminded of literary talent on art as opposed to talking (about art and artists) because on the BBC world service (The ticket) I heard Andrew Graham Dixon talking about Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. It was fascinating.

    So perhaps it could be a subject to write about?

  3. Anonymous1:06 pm

    Not an idea about what to write about but someone who's written about this walking/writing connection so well it might spur you on - try Jeffrey C Robinson's 'The Walk: Notes on a Romantic Image'. We're just republishing it at Dalkey Archive Press, and I'm re-reading in awe and pleasure, also walking the streets with it and haven't hit a lamp-post yet.

  4. That book looks very interesting lesud - so much so I've added it to my Amazon Wishlist :)



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