Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry" - John Cage

Unfortunately my nothing to say is not poetry. I've been feeling pretty weary over the last few weeks, it's been enough to keep up with daily life. So although I'm a bit more back to normal now I've still no new poems to work on. I did get a poem acceptance email from Gutter Magazine a few day ago which I'm really happy about, Gutter is one of my favourite literary mags.

The last few days I've been working on answering a series of questions about my pamphlet set by Jim who is going to publish them on his blog along with a review of Vintage Sea. I really had to think hard about the questions, Jim likes to get down to the heart of the matter so they were particulary thought-provoking.

I'm currently wading my way through the rather giant Penguin Book of Women's Lives. The snippet of life I've enjoyed reading the most so far is Simone De Beauvoir's taken from one of her autobiographical volumes The Prime of Life. It recounts the start of her relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre. It's a wonderful read, how the two young philosophers approached their life together attempting to live out  rationalist principles in their relationship. Trying to imagine the great Sartre as a young man facing off De Beauvoir's father during a confrontation. I love the personality of their relationship that comes through in the reading. Here's a paragraph taster:
"We were both as healthy as horses and of a cheerful disposition. But I took any setback very badly; my face changed, I withdrew into myself and became mulish and obstinate. Sartre decided I had a double personality. Normally I was the Beaver; but occasionally this animal would be replaced by a rather irksome young lady Mademoiselle de Beauvoir. Sartre embroidered this theme with several variations, all of which ended by making fun of me. In his own case, things very frequently got him down - especially in the morning, when his head was still foggy with sleep, or when circumstances reduced him to inactivity: he would hunch himself into a defensive ball, like a hedgehog. On such occasions he resembled a sea elephant we had once seen in the zoo at Vincennes whose misery broke our hearts...when Sartre's face took on an unhappy expression, we used to pretend that the sea elephant's desolate soul had taken possession of his body. Sartre would then complete the metamorphosis by rolling his eyes up, sighing, and making silent supplication: this pantomime would restore his good spirits."


Elisabeth said...

How interesting to read about this famous couple from the horse's mouth. Thanks Marion.

Marion McCready said...

You're welcome, Elizabeth :)