Holding the world in being

 Posted by at 3:05 pm  Atelier  Comments Off
Sep 032010

Life is brief, the shifts in colour bewildering, disturbing, and our lightning reactions wild and violent, never far from uncertainty – would we rather not destroy the whole magnificent show to achieve rest, there’s a desperate need to find relief from the imposed torture. Yet the act of creation is an act of hope, an act of hope despite knowing that bricks will soon be splintering the windows . . .

Surely it’s a gigantic hoax, a con . . . can God (what, who??) be serious? Is he/she/it laughing at us?

To be gifted the divine consciousness, awareness of the glory of this world and at the same time self-awareness . . . to be so hungry . . . yet it all fits together perfectly – a perfect trap? – our hunger in the face of beauty, aware that our hunger will destroy the beauty cranks up the drama, intensifies the beauty, makes us ever more hungry.

Oh, how will it all end, we wail, but let’s think about it for a moment, surely in the act of creation we hold the world in being.

What’s that you say? You’re hungry?

I know, that's what I was afraid of.


Hopi candles are more my thing

 Posted by at 10:53 am  Atelier  Comments Off
Sep 012010

Poema Amanecer de Jorge Luis Borges



y si esta numerosa Buenos Aires
no es más que un sueño
que erigen en compartida magia las almas,
hay un instante
en que peligra desaforadamente su ser
y es el instante estremecido del alba,
cuando son pocos los que sueñan el mundo
y sólo algunos trasnochadores conservan,
cenicienta y apenas bosquejada,
la imagen de las calles
que definirán después con los otros.
¡Hora en que el sueño pertinaz de la vida
corre peligro de quebranto,
hora en que le sería fácil a Dios
matar del todo Su obra!

Pero de nuevo el mundo se ha salvado.

It is more about dream states (sueňas = dreams) at the ‘break of day’ (= amenecer).

I had begun by transcribing this poem from the Spanish text printed in the London Review of Books ( 8th July 2010, P. 27), and thought to add the ‘modified’ translation which the reviewer had also provided, but then there was a letter in the following issue of the LRB from one of the author translators bitterly complaining about the liberty taken by the reviewer who had ‘modified’ his work of art (ie the translation) and so on, and on it went. Later I found the poem belongs to a longer work by the master from Buenos Aires, which you can read in full here Amenecer. Who had ‘modified’ who I began to wonder, and not having the argued over translation is not such an obstacle to knowing a poet whose love of Old and Middle English was renowned, as well as Shakespeare. So let the Spanish stand alone.

The question, it struck me – ‘numerosa’ – how many Buenos Aires are the number of this great city which we dream into being?

And -

cuando son pocos los que sueñan el mundo
y sólo algunos transnochadores conservan

who or what are these few nightwatchers, like Rembrandts famous painting, who alone hold the world in being?

I am glad the Anonymous Novel has been a success, and interesting to learn from you of the necessity for it being published first in Italy before the Vagabond Press. And Russia, have I found the Russians? Yes, last weekend I met an encampment of red flag soviets on the outskirts of Via Reggio (the photographic evidence will be in next week’s blog).