All entries for Tuesday 25 January 2011
January 25, 2011
Recovering from the unrecoverable, i'm delighted by my new-found ability to 'bounce back'. Have spent the morning reading Lessing's 'Woman', and another few chapters of The Quest. One section that particularly struck me -
"The rain was coming down in bucketfuls; Manuel reached the Puerta del Sol, entered the caf de Levante and sat down near the window. The people outside, dressed in their Sunday clothes, scampered by to places of refuge in the wide doorways of the big square; the coaches rumbled hurriedly on amidst the downpour; umbrellas came and went and their black tops, glistening with rain, collided and intertwined like a shoal of tortoises. Presently it cleared up and Manuel left the caf; it was still too early to return to the house; he crossed the Plaza de Oriente and stopped on the Viaduct, watching from that point the people strolling along Segovia street"
Pio Baroja, 'The Quest'. P.109
The description of the umbrellas is perfect. Baroja was a genius - if only I was able to read him in Spanish. Will add it to my list - have wanted to learn Portugese for several years after a chance encounter with Pessoa's 'The Book of Disquiet' in Borders. I was lured in by the cover.
Being a writer appeals to me more and more. Other than the terrifying uncertainty of any sort of career/crippling insecurities when anyone actually happens to read whatever I write - especially when it is vaguely personal. But i'm sure this could be overcome by large doses of chianti.. the idea of sitting in a high room overlooking the bustling streets and tapping away for hours on end until pages are filled (was tempted to say 'with life' but that sounds so incredibly bullshitty (am I allowed to swear on here?) so we'll go) with... I don't really know how to finish it. With all the moments and little sparks of life that have struck me and clung onto the synapses, ready to flow out on the page. Anyway, it's frankly so wonderful. Reclusive, passive - perhaps. But it seems unlikely i'll ever be able to change anything or influence anyone through my actions, so maybe my best option is prose. Maybe it's a little selfish to live in such a self-indulgent mode..perhaps. For the meantime I will pretend that great benevolence will come about through my writing (should I ever happen to write) - therefore justifying all the cathartic impulses that led me to it.