Surmount Influence & Engulfing

ONE (INTRO)

As I write in another language I have to think about questions like :

“What’s the différence between To overcome and To surmount?”

I chose surmount, then I have a problem with “To engulf”. I want to translate “L’engloutissement”.

Of course engloutir/engulf means like in English “to swallow entirely”, but it’s differently charged.

I saw “engulfed by flames”, which makes sense, but in French it’s more about… water. The Engulfed Cathedral is a piano piece by Claude Debussy. Englouti means devoured by water (not and never by flames, for example).

TWO

Novel writers have often the problem to solve : to surmount an influence. All the shades of influence, from the master you read a lot in your life to the big shock of discovering a genius.

William Faulkner, Marguerite Duras or Thomas Bernhard are examples of big styles you have to overcome.

You have weapon of choice : you can stop reading this author, trash the books and mourn over for a while, or you can fight fire with fire (and words with words) : write your own book in this not-your-style style, hoping it’ll empty you.

Then you’ll swim in another water : YOURS.

If you don’t do that, you’ll be engulfed, so there.

THREE

As a father and a reader, I discovered very early that one of the deep primitive danger for a child is to be engulfed in her/his mother’s love.

Mother and baby, it’s a fusion, right? The baby opens to her/his mother, and so does she. They just… merge.

The father, then, has the role to take the kid outside this bubble. From time to time, come with me, boy, let’s watch the world!

It is one way, maybe, to surmount the engulfment of a kid in her/his mother’s love…

FOUR

I think it happens with other people, with love. Friendship Engulfment or Sisterly Engulfment or Marital Engulfment as a possible danger.

There, you’re not… swallowed by the other (though I think it can happen, with controlling people), but by the relation itself.

OUTRO

What do you need to overcome this? A third person to show you paths of the world and the joy of exploration? Fight the bore with the bore, draining it until the ground?

Surmounting Influence is a pattern to watch.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

“Biases to Pieces” – when life goes wrong, do something unusual

“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait

 

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Haunted Cute Trash & Vicariously in Rome : Chronicle 15

Yesterday, in the movie Body Heat, I heard

“I vicariously…”

– the proof that people really use this word in English. We have it (“vicariant”) in France, but it’s a very rare one, used by scientists or in pedagogy. I was fascinated by this range-difference for a word’s usage and I also wrote an article about it, because it’s a tool : “Vicarious” : How to learn by watching others

 

When your students feedback your teacherness, it’s an obsession to me, a good conversation subject, and a great pattern to use elsewhere. It’s also true in therapy, in many other fields. Students can “climb in metacommunication” and tell you about your Art. It’s a feedback, it teaches you! It’s a great structure to explore, and I will probably do it.

 

Does your style come from your work, or do you think about it “out of action”?

 

Parents are exhausting in a bookstore. They need books for their child, who is œuf corse absolutely the greatest, the best, and is – like all the other ones – “really in advance for his age”. Come on!…

 

On WordPress, Categories & Tags mustn’t exceed 15 in total, or else your article won’t be included in the reader. Beware!

 

What surprises me the most, in someone I know, is the clear “will to be nasty”. When someone speaks and wants to hurt me…
One antidote is to notice it. Instead of being hurt by this unkindness, meanness, your brain is building an instant shield with reason, an assessment : “This person is trying to hurt me with words”. Like a submarine, your heart goes underwater, for protection. In an awe.

 

One day I met a trash which… opened electrically alone when your hand was about to reach it. BZZZRT! It was absolutely a mess. Non opening when you needed it to. Surprising you and killing you with quirky heart-attacks in the middle of the night (when you had to trash this saving life orange-juice bottle). Staying opened for no reason (and resisting to close down). Closing the lid too fast when you were trying to debag it to add a new trashbag. Oh bloody cute thing! And, well, I liked it a little too…

 

 

« when in Rome, do as the Romans do »
What does it mean? You have to obey the laws and rules or the society you visit? You have to adapt? But also… should you live a little of other people’s lives? If one day I visit Portland or Kansas City, do I seek French food, or do I taste local meals? Do I watch French TV series in my hotel, or do I go watch a theater play? Do I read my French books, or do I visit museums? Do I move in the tourists cattle, or do I rent a car to go 20 miles out of the city to sit on a bench and watch how people walk?

 

This function of friendship : listen and question.

 

“Manifestement Friand : Manifestly Fond Of” : write 3 short stories on this seed.

 

My father’s father was a soldier in France in 1940. He’s been made a prisoner by the Germans, sent in Germany and had to work there in a factory… bombed by a British or an American attack. He died, and, well, my father didn’t know his father, his childhood was a sad mess. This made him the man he was, and of course I’m now a part of that. I found this part of an interview on the web, and I copy-paste it to tell the readers about the resonance…

You witnessed aerial bombings in Nantes…
The bombings were a very complex and perverted phenomenon. You can’t understand the French collaboration and resistance movements if you don’t understand the occupation period. Being occupied is being in a situation of absolute perversity. You live next to your enemy, and your allies kill you. I was ten years old in 1942. I had to understand that the people who lived close by were my enemies, and the ones bombing me were my friends.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Some absences are impossible to accept.