Today I don’t work, I have a “disciplinary layoff”. This is the second time in a few months, which means I’ll probably lose my job before the end of the year.
So today I read my big Nabokov book on my balcony, like 1200 pages of classes about literature. I read a big part about his compatriot Dostoyevsky, an authors he hates for is “sentimentality” (though he deeply studied his work).
As he says, disliking a book can be a great thing – one of the advantages is to put your brain in movement, trying to find what’s wrong, what it “could be”, etc. I have to admit that you need to have that happy “trait” in front of Art : dissection, study, analyze.
Nabokov never says he hates Dostoyevsky, he says his own position is “curious and uncomfortable” (incommode). He’s fascinated… and wrote lectures about his work.
What Nabokov calls sentimentality is the tendency, in novels, to talk about nervous imbeciles, monotonous overdramatic characters and other degeneration weavers.
So imagine now : your marriage exploded and you’re alone, or the person you love turns away from you, or you’re going to lose your job. Some days, the usual injunctions (“Find happiness inside you”, “Move forward”) don’t work very well : it’s not a good reason to commit suicide! After all, you are healthy, right, for now?
Every woman has a “last man” – and it works the other way round! Just watch around you… That’s for another article, though…
There’s a quiet grey path you are tempted to walk on, some days. You don’t kill yourself but you gather information about it. You drink a little too much. You overthink like an idiot. Phoneysham, it is! It’s your cheap depression day. Your burden is there, but you have probably a few happy days left in front of you.
Try these if you want more about this :
- Just wait, before you act.
- Sometimes, insisting makes things worse.
- Watch how you’re stuck, watch it closely.
So again, today I stood up because I have found words related to Art telling things about my questions, and because I write here about that. Nabokov is very intelligent and very sweet : you read his class with a big smile (see?). You clearly own up there’s no murder nor alcoholism, no incest or no gothic disaster in your life (at least, for now). Let’s call this grey path an oblique way to give a kick to the pool bottom. Eloping moods towards the surface!
As I was reading, a maybug, a cockchafer landed on my shoulder. Ohhhh! I said hello, he walked along my arm towards my hand, then he flew away. Yes it’s harmless. We call this little brown jewel : Un hanneton.
OK, now listen to this :
And here’s now a little song by Eden Ahbez
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”