Some friendships don’t need any oath.
It’s just there.
These days I’m happy because I found the best thinker I could imagine.
Paul Valéry (1871-1945) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Val%C3%A9ry – a French poet, essayist and philosopher.
For me, he’s even stronger than Nietzsche!
In France, he’s known as a poet. That’s all…
Thus, I’m devouring his notebooks, his essays, his poetry : thousands of pages.
This guy is a genius! You can find his notebooks on the web. If you need seeds…
And, well, I read also books from André Gide (1869-1951) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Gide
Hence, I discovered they were friends.
I just ordered and got an almost 1000 pages book of their correspondence.
I was so glad to get it! As I was opening the box tonight, I thought : “Two of the best thinkers of their time!”…
…which I found on the back cover of the book :
“This friendship is a dream come true : two of the most gifted and most clever writers of their generation met at the beginning of their careers”.
Nothing, absolutely nothing (they were very different) could work loose or detach this friendship.
Valéry says it’s not about literature or common or complementary tastes. It was the faculty to follow each other, to instantly adapt, to guess each other with happiness…
In an article of Le Monde, the French newspaper, I found this :
“Leur dialogue de dandys supérieurs porte sur les moyens et la manière, jamais sur les principes et les fins”.
“Their dandy dialog is always about the means and the ways, never on the principles and the ends”.
Most of you will get it, right?
Well, that’s all, dear. I just wanted to share!
Thanks for reading!
“…and nothing is more certain than an inclination which exist in itself, without any argument, without common feelings or ideas – like with no reason”.
What’s near your bed?
- A good novel you’re keenly reading every evening
- A pile of cuddly comforting comics (Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes)
- A magazine in your comfort zone (movies, classical music, food, (or knives and fast cars?))
If like me you have this illness (printed words feed you), you need to have fast light things near your pillow. Like a snack of words, right? Just in case of insomnia, for example…
There are many ways to have “short things”. Very easy novels. Old comics. Archipelago philosophy. Quotes collection. Poetry. Correspondence books…
I have all these, and diaries.
Thinkers, writers, photographers, directors, politics? Many personalities wrote their diary. Sometimes it’s published, even after author’s death.
As a book unearther, I have the tendency to pick up everything diary-ish. It’s a superpower, in a way : you just open the author’s mind and see him/her think.
Yesterday I was with Gide (1869-1951), reading some diary pages of 1941. I found this (my translation) :
An opinion begins to bother me as soon as I can take advantage of it.
I had to stop reading, opened mouth.
That was obvious to me – so why being bothered by? What if he was right, and where, and how, and why? Here you go : you have two hours.
The danger of having words snacks near your bed (even Peanuts : Charlie Brown is a pretty good philosopher) is to find interesting things in the middle of the night. Therefore “Hello insomnia I embrace you” : you’ll never go back to sleep. So there!
Have a nice week-end!
You’re alone in the quiet, at home. You grab a book.
If it’s a novel, it’s perfect : you get into a dream. You see things…
Tonight I wanted a conversation instead. So I picked a book from Siri Hustvedt (The Shaking Woman) and a glass of Chardonnay.
I opened the book in the middle of random (it’s something I love to do) and read great pages about how a new born baby and his mother stare at each other. This deep each other’s look means so much, so many things happen. A bond is building. An intelligence is blooming…
(I remember I did this, with Lili and Eliette, my daughters)
Hustvedt explains that if a mother talks to a baby and waits a little, the baby answers – in his own… voice.
An essay is like having a part of a conversation. The part where you just listen. Just choose your partner well! It’s OK – even if you miss the partner’s questions, the slow ping-pong of spirits.
And the eyes…
I wrote this. Now I’m back to my chair. Bidou the cat on me knees. Hi Siri!
Thanks for reading!
There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.
My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean…
You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).
(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)
You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…
What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.
My tool here is :
Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :
- you could lose branch points
- you could ignore good bypasses
- your steam can hide possibilities.
Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.
Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.
OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅
Thanks for reading!
I read much more essays than novels, therefore I read introductions, prefaces, and… acknowledgments. I read them, because the list – and the way the author presents the list – tells something.
There are Types :
- The assistant (who helped to gather or organize informations)
- The editor (who brought energy and I-believe-in-yous)
- The colleague (who pointed out problems in the text or provided ideas for chapters)
- The spouse (for his/her unfailing support)
- The friend (who helped blossoming with his/her constant questions)
- The friend (and his/her potential enthusiasm)
- The influencer
- The predecessor (“this essay takes over from…”)
- The ignorant (towards whom (oh crap, is this even English?) the author had to explain, therefore helped to think “readers”)
- The collaborator (who provided elements or parts of the essay)
- The spellchecker (can be the friend or the spouse, ha)
- The leader (who asked the author to write for a bigger project, for example)
- The muse (just being him/her – radioactive influence)
- The Obi Wan Kenobi figure (a master who can propel you with a single sentence)
Do you have any of these for your… blog? Would you need one? Why?
Have a nice day!
“We read to know we are not alone”
C. S. Lewis
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