Nov. 20th, 2002

incandescens: (Default)
My father was kind enough to check up on the Malraux quote which came up recently. His response . . .


Malraux, Antimémoires (Paris: Gallimard, 1967), p. 9 (opening section):
recalling conversation in 1940 with a priest (they are both seeking to join Resistance groups, I think)
They are going through a village where the priest had been the incumbent, and where he had handed out to Jews baptism certificates with false dates, as long as he could baptise them ('something will stick'). The conversation turns to the priest's experience: AM asks:
« - Vous confessez depuis beaucoup de temps?
- Une quinzaine d'années...
- Qu'est-ce que la confession vous a enseigné des hommes?
- Vous savez, la confession n'apprend rien, parce que dès que l'on confesse, on est une autre, il y a la Grâce. Et pourtant... D'abord, les gens sont beaucoup plus malheureux qu'on ne croit.. et puis...
Il leva des bras de bûcheron dans la nuit plein d'étoiles:
« Et puis, le fond de tout, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de grandes personnes..." »

(Given Malraux and the book, the anecdote is probably, if not totally fictional, at the least embellished.)


Nice. Very nice.
incandescens: (Default)
I was reading John M Ford's book, The Last Hot Time, through most of my spare moments today, and besides inspiring in me a desperate wish to write that well, I was struck by a lyric quoted in it as a song which takes place at one point.

Say how you cut it
You'll never get it so thin
An edge of softness
To turn the hardness within
When will your face fall
After the long masquerade
The razor's open
Come out and dance on the blade

So here's a tip of the hat
To all the melancholy people
So uncertain what they're ready to feel
(Waitin' all night)
Diamond cut diamond
Silk cut steel

He writes with an effortless spare grace, and he doesn't bother to explain -- you either keep up and pay attention or you lose what's going on and miss meanings. Envy is a shameful emotion. Aspiration would be more practical.

So here's a tip of the glove
To all the solitary people
Undercover in the world of the real
(Hidin' all night)
Diamond cut diamond
Silk cut steel

Now I'll go and write alchemical fiction. But what I've read today will inform my writing, in just the same way that everything we live or read affects what we produce in some way. So perhaps there will be an edge. It'd be . . . nice.

So here's a tip of the shoe
To all the predatory people
Overeager for the whip and the heel
(Playin' all night)
Diamond cut diamond
Silk cut steel


incandescens: (Default)

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