Saturday, December 29, 2012

What brings the words to you

Paul Auster
I have just finished Paul Auster's latest memoir ("examination of his life"), named "Winter Journal."  I found it to be an OK book, sometimes interesting.  The Guardian reviews it and utters the word narcisism, and perhaps rightfully so.  Overall, the book is like the bottom of the ocean: profound - here and there.  It is, however, easy to read, as most Auster books are.  What caught my attention is that Auster mentions a "scalding, epiphanic moment of clarity that pushed [him] through a crack in the universe and allowed [him] to begin again."  That "scalding" moment happened after the writer attended a dance rehearsal led by a mysterious choreographer named Nina W.  That moment of artistic fusion with an art otherwise "unknown to him", as he confesses, prompted Auster to write again.  In the fragment I am posting below, Auster takes his time to dissect the organic relationship between writing and dance.  Here it is - and remember, this book is written in the second person. 

"In order to do what you do, you need to walk.  Walking is what brings the words to you, what allows you to hear the rhytms of the words as you write them in your head.  One foot forward, and then the other foot forward, the double drumbeat of the heart.  Two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, two feet.  This, and then that.  That, and then this.  Writing begins in the body, it is the music of the body, and even if the words have meaning, can sometimes have meaning, the music of the words is where the meanings begin.  You sit at your desk in order to write down the words, but in your head you are still walking, always walking, and what you hear is the rhythm of the heart, the beating of your heart.  "Mendelstam: I wonder how many pairs of sandals Dante wore out while working on the Commedia."  Writing as a lesser form of dance."  - Paul Auster, Winter Journal

PS: And, no, I do not agree with his last sentence above...