Sunday, February 20, 2005


And so he was telling me all about this traumatic event, that that moment was like a pivot upon which his life had swung around.

He seemed to me to be like a man who had just returned from a long voyage. He was surrounding himself now with a new set of friends and ideas, both like trinkets or adornments which he brought out eagerly to show to others.

He explained that the human need after trauma is to either run away into isolation or to try and create a new small society. He had taken the latter route. We talked about the immediacy of life, the deceptive sense of order we keep rebuilding in our own mind even as we know that most events are chaotic and impermanent.


Can the autobiography also be a novel? What if you depict your life as seen from above? I've been re-reading Louis-RenĂ© des ForĂȘts' ostinato and admiring how he has thrown his life onto the page. Here is himself as a young child:

"Without anything of his own, without a place to flee the gaze of others, hurling himself into with the confused ardor of a young animal penned up, with a right only to an iron bed, hiding away in it until the cruel surprise of dawn"

"The complicitous vocabulary by which we designate the most natural places, the peculiar smells, the familiar objects, like a barbarous chronicle in which we are addressed in a babble without rhyme or reason by invented characters with haughty manners...laughing together under the stupid eye of the parents excluded by their prudent forgetting of the past from this theater of madness until its time to draw its curtain and send all these seraphic princes with their barnyard language off to bed"

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