Lately I’m going through his phase where I sit down at the piano and decide that I have absolutely no talent whatsoever. It’s quite a pain in the ass. I don’t get anyting done. Yes, I deleted all my song lyrics, but it’s time to get over it. I still have some in notebooks and on sheets lying around. The only way to finish this stupidity is to listen to my musical crushes. So I spend time with Steely Dan, Diane Krall, Stina Nordenstam and others. It really works. I come up with new stuff almost at once. So hopefully during this week I’ll start doing something other than just warming up my voice and singing through Rose Darling three times before I hit my head against the wall for half an hour.
The other day I read an essay written by a British writer. Apparently she wrote for eleven years before she published anything. I love hearing about stuff like that. It makes me think that 1.) One does have time to become a writer. Who says everyone has to be a young genious, and start publishing at 20? 2.) It is possible to spend a lot of time with ones texts if ones writing is a result of a necessity. The first question one should ask oneself is: WHY do I write?
I have gone to Argentina. It’s supposed to be a vacation, but doing nothing makes me nervous. I cannot relax. I have this idea that I should make a routine for myself, but writing seems more or less impossible to me these days. My thoughts are trapped in a dark place, and all that comes out are unpleasant words and depressive phrases. I’m thinking I should give myself a break. After I deleted (oh my god, I’m mortified…) the file with all my texts, I’ve begun to wonder if there is any point to this. If writing makes me feel bad, why the hell do I do it? Well, because it’s not always like this. I’m hoping it’s just another one of my phases. I’m hoping it’ll be over very soon.
There is a piano in the house. I’m drying the dust of it. It hasn’t been used for ten years, but still sounds ok. It’s a great priviledge to spend time in this house in Buenos Aires. It’s beautiful with a big garden covered with trees. From time to time a colibri swirls by. Fantastic. Have never seen the likes of it.
I’m reading until I’m able to calm down not to waste my time too much. I’m still obsessed with English and American literature. Just finished Henry James’ The Spoils of Poynton, and have started Jonathan Fransen’s Corrections. The latter one is supposed to be brilliant, but I don’t know yet. Ok, so I’ve only read 70 pages, but I’m not sure I want to continue. It’s so bloody depressing. I mean, maybe I should be ashamed by this but…. Reading Henry James is just so much more fulfilling. His subject matter may seem much less “important” from the point of wiew of a reader in 2010 than the subjects Franzen are writing about (the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care and globalized greed). Frankly, reading about “a contest between a widow and her only son for the priceless treasures housed at Pointon Park”. Call me boring, but I’m a classics reader, and I think I will remain so until my death. Also, there is something haunting about Henry James’ female characters. Why the hell are they all so bent on making the wrong choices? I’m always frustrated after reading one of his novels. The worst one must be The Portrait Of A Lady. I just keep reading it over and over. I mean, what is she thinking, Isabel? Why does she marry this guy? And the same goes for Fleda Vetch: Why does she let Owen Gereth go? She could have been happy! She could have had him for herself. But no, of course, in great jamesian style this scrupulous woman looses the love of her life almost on purpose, only to tell us that she’s happy about it. No, I just don’t buy it? Her sacrifice may be beautiful, it can all be described as poetic justice, but still I don’t get it.
Next I’ll attack The Bostonians. Can’t wait! I’ll give Franzen another go, but if he depresses me I’ll throw him away. Why are they all so bloody depressing? And why are the characters so ugly and helpless?
I’m taking lessons to improve my Spanish, so the idea is to read something Argentinian as well. Have Cortázar and Borges waiting.