Die skrywer en sy daaglikse roetine

Oggendritueel

‘n Besonderse webtuiste wat ek onlangs ontdek het, is A piece of monologue, waar sommer heelwat fassinerende artikels oor die letterkunde te lees is; soos een oor die daaglikse roetines (of rituele) van skrywers. Hoekom dit my geïnteresseer het, is dat ek nog altyd glo dat – hoe chaoties en deurmekaar ‘n digter se omgewing ook al mag wees – die proses van gedig maak ‘n bykans ekstreme vorm van sistematisering en ordening is. Hoofsaaklik vanweë die feit dat ‘n gedig onder andere ook ‘n manier van kyk is na die werklikheid; ‘n poging om denke en insig byeen te bring in ‘n gefokusde taalkonstruksie. En waarskynlik is dit hierdie “ordeningsbeginsel” wat die verwantskap tussen poësie, wiskunde en musiek-komposisie onderlê.

Nietemin, dit is juis dié aspek wat hierdie artikel so interessant maak. Ongelukkig word daar merendeels op prosaïste en filosowe gekonsentreer; nogtans hou ek enkeles aan jou voor by wyse van leesprikkel.

W.H. Auden: “Perhaps the finest writer ever to use speed systematically, however, was W. H. Auden. He swallowed Benzedrine every morning for twenty years, from 1938 onward, balancing its effect with the barbiturate Seconal when he wanted to sleep. (He also kept a glass of vodka by the bed, to swig if he woke up during the night.) He took a pragmatic attitude toward amphetamines, regarding them as a ‘labor-saving device’ in the ‘mental kitchen,’ with the important proviso that ‘these mechanisms are very crude, liable to injure the cook, and constantly breaking down.'”

Paul Auster: “The usual. I got up in the morning. I read the paper. I drank a pot of tea. And then I went over to the little apartment I have in the neighborhood and worked for about six hours. After that, I had to do some business. My mother died two years ago, and there was one last thing to take care of concerning her estate-a kind of insurance bond I had to sign off on. So, I went to a notary public to have the papers stamped, then mailed them to the lawyer. I came back home. I read my daughter’s final report card. And then I went upstairs and paid a lot of bills. A typical day, I suppose. A mix of working on the book and dealing with a lot of boring, practical stuff.”

Simone de Beauvoir: “I’m always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike starting the day. I first have tea and then, at about ten o’clock, I get under way and work until one. Then I see my friends and after that, at five o’clock, I go back to work and continue until nine. I have no difficulty in picking up the thread in the afternoon. When you leave, I’ll read the paper or perhaps go shopping. Most often it’s a pleasure to work.”

John Grisham: “The alarm clock would go off at 5, and I’d jump in the shower. My office was 5 minutes away. And I had to be at my desk, at my office, with the first cup of coffee, a legal pad and write the first word at 5:30, five days a week.” His goal: to write a page every day. Sometimes that would take 10 minutes, sometimes an hour; ofttimes he would write for two hours before he had to turn to his job as a lawyer, which he never especially enjoyed. In the Mississippi Legislature, there were “enormous amounts of wasted time” that would give him the opportunity to write.

Philip Roth: “I live alone, there’s no one else to be responsible for or to, or to spend time with,” Roth said. “My schedule is absolutely my own. Usually, I write all day, but if I want to go back to the studio in the evening, after dinner, I don’t have to sit in the living room because someone else has been alone all day. I don’t have to sit there and be entertaining or amusing. I go back out and I work for two or three more hours. If I wake up at two in the morning–this happens rarely, but it sometimes happens–and something has dawned on me, I turn the light on and I write in the bedroom. I have these little yellow things all over the place. I read till all hours if I want to. If I get up at five and I can’t sleep and I want to work, I go out and I go to work.”

J.M. Coetzee: “Coetzee is a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week.”

Vir jou verdere leesplesier plaas ek ‘n gedig van Paul Auster onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

***

Soos dit die gebruik geraak het die afgelope weke begin hierdie week ook met heelwat nuwe leesstof op die webblad. Andries Bezuidenhout gee ‘n skakel na foto’s van die pasafgelope fees by die Steak & Ale in Pretoria, Johann Lodewyk Marais het twee blogs geplaas: een oor die spore van Eugène Marais en een oor jakkarandas, poësie en ideologie; Desmond Painter skryf oor onvergeetlike films, terwyl Ester Naomi Perquin meesterlik skryf oor die weer (en gedigte téén die slaap) en Leon Retief wat eweneens van ‘n besonderse digter in die prêries vertel. In die Brieweboks is daar ‘n stuk oor sokker wat Joan Hambidge ingestuur het wat jy beslis ook nie moet mis nie …

Onder die vaste inhoud is daar ‘n nuwe resensie deur Bernard Odendaal, oor Kobus Lombard se bundel “Vlerke vir my houteend“, en ook ‘n nuwe digstring waarin Annie Klopper vertel van hoe haar gedig “‘n deurnagbraai in Oranjezicht” tot stand gekom het.

Lekker lees aan alles. En laat hierdie week punte tel.

Mooi bly.

LE 

 

WHITE NIGHTS

No one here,
and the body says: whatever is said
is not to be said. But no one
is a body as well, and what the body says
is heard by no one
but you.

Snowfall and night. The repetition
of a murder
among the trees. The pen
moves across the earth: it no longer knows
what will happen, and the hand that holds it
has disappeared.

Nevertheless, it writes.
It writes: in the beginning,
among the trees, a body came walking
from the night. It writes:
the body’s whiteness
is the color of earth. It is earth,
and the earth writes: everything
is the color of silence.

I am no longer here. I have never said
what you say
I have said. And yet, the body is a place
where nothing dies. And each night,
from the silence of the trees, you know
that my voice
comes walking toward you.

 

(c) Paul Auster

 

 

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