Louis Esterhuizen. Jy kán oorleef sonder poësie …

 

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is ‘n jong digter, romanskrywer, kritikus en vertaler van Ysland wat nogal heelwat aansien wêreldwyd geniet. Afgesien van die drie romans en vyf digbundels wat hy tot dusver gepubliseer het, is daar ook ‘n versameling gedigte, Fist or words bereft of sense (Hnefi eða vitstola orð), wat binnekort beskikbaar gaan wees. Verdermeer is hy een van die stigterslede van die Nýhil Poësie-koöperatief en die meegaande Nýhil Poetry Festival, waaroor ek in Oktober vanjaar berig het.

Nietemin, pas het daar ‘n versameling essays, ‘Booby, Be Quiet, in Engelse vertaling by proEsia verskyn. Die uitgewer beskryf dié versameling essays, wat tans veral in die VSA aandag trek, soos volg: “It’s a breathtaking collection of criticism from one of Europe’s most exciting poetic practitioners and theorists and stands as one of the most vital contributions to innovative poetry criticism in Europe’s recent history.”

As voorbeeld van Örn Norðdahl se aweregse aanslag het 3:AM Magazine een van hierdie essays, wat in wese ‘n pleidooi vir die digkuns is, op hul webblad geplaas. Na sy inleidende betoog, waarin hy te velde trek teen die mistastings rondom die Groot Belang van die digkuns, tref hy ‘n besonder insiggewende vergelyking tussen populêre kunsvorme (soos popmusiek) en die digkuns: “Very few people ask of pop-music that it should be more simple, or that movies should not have so many jump-cuts, should not be shot from weird angles or with unnatural camera movements. Quite the contrary, we’ve completely embraced all of popular-culture’s complexities, so much so that they’ve become utterly mundane - we don’t even notice them without a conscious effort to do so. And yet, when it comes to literature in general, and poetry in particular, most people’s first reaction is to not ‘understand’ it - giving up before you’ve tried is the name of the game - no matter how often poets and writers try to emphasize that you are in fact not meant to ‘understand’ it.”

Die rede hiervoor, volgens Örn Norðdahl, is dat die gedig ‘n taalkonstrukt is; dieselfde taal wat gebruik word in alledaagse kommunikasie, ten spyte daarvan dat die digterlike taal radikaal anders funksioneer as gewone gesprekstaal: “Ludwig Wittgenstein (a practitioner of that other ‘difficult’ art: philosophy) once said: ‘Do not forget that a poem, although it is composed in the language of information, is not used in the language-game of giving information’ […] This misunderstanding is also why so many poems of poets that don’t read much poetry have more to do with anecdote or lineated prose, than they have to do with poetry […] In this manner a lot of the poetry that people find “difficult”, can seem very simple ditties to anyone that spends time reading it. Juxtapositioning one pretty image with the next, jumping between the lilies of the ponds - it’s not rocket science, and it’s not cross-word puzzles.”

En wat van die volgende stelling wat sekuur gemik is op die horde aspirant-digters wat gewoon weier om gedigte te léés: “Imagine for a minute that your experience of poetry was the same as your experience with music, that it was everywhere - that there was no way of escaping it. Literacy of poetry, like literacy of pop-music, movies etc. is an acquired skill and ‘complex’ is a very relative term. It’s of note that the more anyone listens to music the more complex their taste becomes, the less anyone listens to music, the more mainstream their taste. The same goes for poetry.”

Ten slotte, by wyse van leestoegif, die paragraaf waarmee Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl sy betoog afsluit: “The bottomline is this: Poetry is not vitamins, and you’re not going to shrivel up and die if you don’t get regular doses of it. It’s not (necessarily) any more difficult than pop-music. And you don’t need it. You can, I’m sure, live a very decent life without it. I’ve seen it done. And although you’ll miss out on the fun, that never killed anyone.”

Pure lekkerte. Gaan lees gerus die volledige essay by 3:AM Magazine.

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Een Kommentaar op “Louis Esterhuizen. Jy kán oorleef sonder poësie …”

  1. Jy kan sonder poësie *oorleef*, maar kan kwalik daar sonder *leef*.

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