Saturday, October 19, 2013

But the book itself does not count

Are you  someone who has somehow manage to develop a rather stately impression of your own writing ability and also feel you possess a critic's discernment?

Do you have a capacity for delusions of grandeur - is that even a question, of course you do. So much so that you can exaggerate - not just your writing and critical abilitIes - but even your own impressions of them, to be able to relate to the turmoil of some who is, and expresses himself, way better?
Read on then as Silvio Baldeschi - the narrator of Moravia's Conjugal Love-  writes a critique of a novel he just finished writing.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Love and Creating


Last evening I started re-reading something I last read when I was in college. I still found it just as affecting. But let me exercise some restraint which I wish to believe -  or atleast make a show of, as if - age has made it easier for me to achieve, by getting out of the way quickly and  resting content with quoting:

         ..(But) the fact remains that I have a strong, determined face that does not at all represent my true character, though it partly explains some contradictions in it. Perhaps my most noteworthy characteristic is lack of depth. Whatever I do or say, the whole of me is contained in what I do or say, and I have nothing in reserve upon which to fall back in the event of my having to retreat. I am in fact, a man all vanguard without any main body or rearguard. From this characteristic comes my proneness to enthusiasm: I get excited over any trifle. This enthusiasm of mine, however, is rather like an uncontrolled horse taking a very high fence, having already thrown its rider, who is left in the dust ten yards behind. What I mean is that it is an enthusiasm that almost always lacks the support of the intimate, effective strength without which any kind of enthusiasm dwindles into mere foolish desire and rhetoric. And I am, in fact, inclined to rhetoric - that is, to the substitution of words for deeds. My rhetoric is of the sentimental kind. I want, for instance, to be in love and often deceive myself  into thinking I am in love when all that I have done is talk about it - with great feeling, no doubt, but nevertheless simply talking. At such moments tears come easily, I stammer, I assume all the attitudes of overflowing emotion. But beneath these outward signs of fervor I often conceal a bitter, positively mean kind of subtlety which makes me deceitful and does not represent any real strength, being merely the expression of my egoism.