Wednesday, February 29, 2012

everything at once

It somehow seems more exciting to me to do several things at once: nothing gets done as deeply perhaps as it might, were I to be solidly committed to one thing at a time, but there it is, and here am I, early morningish, translating a Rene Char passage on Goerges de la Tour for a poet-painter friend, doing an outline for an essay on Andre Breton and Rene Char for a new Princeton reader for the "general public," preparing (or not really) a talk for tomorrow night at Hollins University in Virginia,
and the catalogue essay for an Andre Masson exhibition -- and, oddly, each under or overtaking seems to nourish the others.
That's an early morning, optimistic view, I well know. And next week for my seminar on Letters and Lives, I have to think about WHAT exactly is so moving and so essential about Van Gogh's letters to Theo his brother -- yesterday we tackled, well, discussed, the letters of Proust and some of the various pieces and books written around him, like Richard Goodkin's more than thought-provoking Around Proust. It goes from Bergson and Mallarme to Wagner and film and everything else: I can't even pretend to read enough of anything, but perhaps a suggestion works as well as a whole massive entity. I surely hope so.
AND i was just invited to participate in the defense of another dissertation in Paris, where I really do love going, always staying in the same hotel if not with my beloved friends, always breakfasting in the same cafe, often dining in the same place -- all in a small radius. And this time, I will go to meet the wife of Gherasiim Luca, a Romanian surrealist poet whom I've been translating, thanks to Rainer Hanshe and his new publishing house. Before that, though, many other talks, including one on Gertrude Stein and literary cubism, whatever that turns out to be.

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