“it appears like an innocuous illness. monotony, boredom, death. millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. they work in offices. they drive a car. they picnic with their families. they raise children. and then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. some never awaken. they are like the people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken. but i am not in danger because my home, my garden, my beautiful life do not lull me. i am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”
anaïs nin, diary, winter 1931/32
and here we are, again, waiting for the shock treatment…
occasion-related summary – what great britain stands for (for me… so far):
richard burns, colin mcrae, kris meeke, craig breen, elfyn evans
jungle (brockie & mc det)
aston martin, lola, radical
the it crowd
top gear (clarkson, hammond, may)
drum and bass (amoss, dispatch rec.)
user, utility plastics, serial scratch
brands hatch, brooklands, donington park, lydden hill, snetterton, thruxton
barbican, tate modern
uk space techno
luke slater, cristian vogel, neil landstrumm, regis, surgeon, luke vibert
james graham ballard
to be continued…
there has always been this kind of literature in which, yeah, nothing really happens – no perceptible action but exhaustingly long and detailed descriptions of inner or outer circumstances, dialogues or monologues. paperized boredom. no surprises, no sudden movements, no signs of life. in short: the proustish breath of death.
most of the literature classics are still appearing insanely boring to me but there is a bunch of living aspiring disciples that gained my attention within the last couple of years: per petterson, nils-ove knausgard or andreas maier, just to mention a few. at first glance, their books are as mind-numbing as proust’s, joyce’s or tolstoi’s. but there is something different with contemporary boredom literaturewise.
so far, i wasnt even able to go beyond the 10 page threshold really. there was this severe resistance from somewhere inside me. being forced, my body reacted with fatigue or aggressivity. that’s no longer the case (already finished two of petterson’s books). such books even taste like nothing less than the next step on the ladder. so what happened? apparently i got more tolerant of going through life in first gear.
not really daring to call it maturity or to give age credit for this (i’m still only 35 after all). but it really feels like major life questions being answered, the principle lessons learned, macrocosm explored and future comes along with all those microcosms. let’s check back in 10 years. meanwhile i am reading maier and seeing myself as only guest in a cute little pub the middle of the godforsaken wetterau, having a glass of apple wine and slowly but steadily dissolving and merging with the nothingness surrounding me while singing happy melodies.