To consider the world like something to decipher

“To consider the world like something to decipher”, says Gilles Deleuze, “to be mindful to signs is a gift”.

Decipher is a splendid word, right? What’s the engine?

  • We are structuralists (we find some knowledge on systematic structures)
  • We are phenomenologists (we find some knowledge on pure experience)

Hey, maybe we’re post-structuralists (doesn’t that sound good?)!

Here’s Wikipedia :

A post-structuralist approach argues that to understand an object (e.g., a text), it is necessary to study both the object itself and the systems of knowledge that produced the object.

 

So when we watch a person, an object, a text, as we globally function with analogies, we seek structures, skeletons inside. And then we watch something else…

Therefore if a new teacher enters the room, we quickly seek, we try to decipher if he’s a Type (an Archetype?) – is he a Boss, a Preacher, a Guide? Are his ways chaotic, structured? What’s his pace?

We seek structures, but also we notice. What do we notice? Signs.

What do we expect? What is disappointment, here? How do we offset against disappointment?

Proust says he has a burden : for him, things (persons, events, anything) HAVE TO recall him something else – or have to make him imagine something else.

Let’s call it the addiction of links.

All this, because we seek. We need to decipher.

Effort of the will is not enough – Deleuze mentions “Those truths of the intelligence that lack the claw of necessity”.

What do you think?

 

 

IMG_8266.jpg

 

 

Advertisements

Proust quote : “Time, in order to become visible, seeks bodies…

“Le Temps qui d’habitude n’est pas visible, qui pour le devenir cherche des corps et, partout il les rencontre, s’en empare pour montrer sur eux sa lanterne magique”.

Time, in order to become visible, “seeks bodies and everywhere encounters them, seizes them to cast its magic lantern upon them”.

Marcel Proust, quoted by Gilles Deleuze in “Proust and Signes”

 

IMG_8128.jpg

Proust in disorder

A long time ago I read this phrase, and I never forgot it :

you can do what you want with a masterpiece, you will never damage it

Then you don’t care to put a moustache on La Joconde Mona Lisa,  you will never spoil, ruin or damage her!

Strangely, I had to find the same pattern for Proust. I once bought the book, which impressed me like a unreachable monument, until I read – in a procrastinating movement – a little one about Proust.

The author mocked me a lot in a chapter, saying that La Recherche is not a towering “cathedral”, and that I should attack it with a good food loving miscreant hungriness, instead of being a solemn idiot. Adding something like : “It’s a masterpiece and you will be struck and enthralled by it, whatever the tip you crunch”.

Solemn idiocy is the most ridiculous one, right?

Last week I talked with a grandpa who was a reaaal Proust lover. He said he bought a few different audio books in mp3, put them in his player and was often walking in the city listening to a few of the hundreds short chapters… by different actors…  and in random order!

We laughed. It’s a game for those who read it (to guess what part of the book is spoken here). It’s a constant delight because of the language (Proust is the most gorgeous French EVER). It makes you think and offers you seeds for the mind, in showers (Proust is very, very subtle). Etc.

No solemnity here. Only the necessary casualness (and gourmandise) in front of life, ideas, et cetera : life is serious, then, once you reached these high stairs of intelligence.

Good day!

IMG_2684.jpg

 

Proust & Valéry : Tropisms Unfolding

Proust is really different. This writer in France is really a milestone : long, hard to read, but magnificent like a cathedral for those who dared to explore his huge masterpiece.

Therefore there are two kinds of French people : those who read Proust and those who did not, or abandoned the discipline.

Today I talked with a Proust lover, and we agreed on this :

Proust was a blogger

Well : the way he explores the human mind and its tropisms (which are the “very subtle movements of the human mind”), like a… craftsman goldsmith, a jewels maker, is exhausting : on each page you’ll find ideas for one single evening of conversation (with a real conversation lover, I mean).

(I know : there are few)

Then we talked about Paul Valéry, who does the same in his Carnets (Notebooks), but not in the “novel” form : only thinking and explaining.

Both of them are craftsmen, goldsmiths, jewels makers. They find ideas so subtle and delicious that you have to stop and smile and think for a few hours. Intelligences of the highest range…

One (Proust) unfolds this in long (I mean : LONG) phrases running for pages in gorgeous French. It’s like spreading out in the novel, it’s so good that it can hurt you. YES : “that” good.

The other one (Valéry) works on jewels. He makes very very small paragraphs, a few lines, that makes you stop and think the whole thing :

Oh my God he’s so right I’ve never seen it written so well before!

Finding seeds, delicate ideas. Offering them to the audience, one in complex magnificent buildings made of words, the other in small boxes containing a splendid marvel.

Two ways, to means. Try both, if you dare!

Thanks for reading!

Casting Imagination : “What do you need to see?”

“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.”, said Proust. , a little quote that made me smile, thus I posted it in my last Chronicle.

 

Yesterday I found and read a Stanley Kubrick interview. He was told : “In all your castings choices, the most surprising is Ryan O’Neal in Barry Lyndon. Suddenly, everybody realized : “Oh, well : he’s a good actor”.”

And indeed, one needed imagination to cast O’Neal in this role. It’s so disturbing to see this Californian former boxer playing this 18th-century Irish opportunist! And the film is gorgeous.

I think of a similar pattern in another movie : when Visconti casted Burt Lancaster – former acrobat, pirate or cow-boy actor –  to play a Sicily Prince in The Leopard!

 

Proust, Kubrick, Visconti : it’s the story of imagination. And it’s probably a little tool, right?

If you have to hire people and build a team, do you pick “the best” from all logical reasons, or to you think it’d be cool or useful to have some… imagination?

This could lead to other articles, right? What brings someone who has no experience, or not in this “field”? Why would we need sometimes to look “not under the light”, but elsewhere too?

It becomes one question :

What do you need to see… to see that other people don’t see?

 

Have a nice day!

 

maxresdefault-56.jpg

 

 

BDDefinition-Leopard-l-1080.jpg

 

 

Proust was a blogger…

“Remembrance of things past
is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”

― Marcel Proust

 

 

Proust is a well known French writer, renowned for his… difficult style. You’ll Google it if you want to try, OK?

Thus, in France (and probably elsewhere) you often hear this “I tried Proust, but I couldn’t finish it”, with a little funny face.

Well, OK, I never finished it either! Reading Proust is like eating a feast everyday. It’s exhausting!

  • Worse : you can not really read something else, because every writer looks like a dumb moron after Proust. Too much intelligence pulls you in an awe, where air is rare.
  • Worse : you want to grab anyone you know to scream “Read Proust, it’s amazing!”. No, come on, it’s impossible to read him.
  • Worse : Proust’s style, made of long, complex phrases, with an absolute lack of concessions (for the reader), is like dive into it, or else…

Therefore : you have to make an effort. Each time you plunge in Proust you have to. You’re like “OMG it’s dense!”, then you find the marvels. A bit like opera, you see? If you don’t make an effort, an opera is a boring story with people singing like crazy about stupid dramas. Make an effort to find your own pleasure : voices, performance, music, comparing, etc…

Once you did it, here it is : Proust is a blogger.

One day I explained it to my best friend. She was like “Meh”. OK, I said. I picked up the book, read a page (randomly), and we found an idea. So good it filled the evening in conversations.

The only secret is this : do not take it too solemnly. It’s not a cathedral. La Recherche (“In Search of the Lost Time”) is just a huge great book. If you’re bored, breathe and pass a page. YES. Go on. You’ll find emerald & pearls. It’ll kill you (it’s soo good). One day, it’s enough. Read something else.

In each page you’ll find one or more ideas. Each one could let you thinking smiling watching the sky, like “Ohh, that’s true!”.

He’s a blogger. But he’s better than you, I warn you…

 

Have a nice day!

 

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.”
― Marcel Proust, Time Regained

 

temps_perdu.png

 

“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
Marcel Proust

 

quote-the-real-voyage-of-discovery-consists-not-in-seeking-new-landscapes-but-in-having-new-marcel-proust-23-68-80.jpg