December 29th, 2008
I’m back at it today, culling, organizing, tidying up, all kinds of busy activities to rid my life of clutter. It’s an ongoing battle. I feel kind of like Henry V at Agincourt but without the poetry of Shakespeare.
Have you voted for your “Obama’s playlist” song yet? I just sent in a note about my RRHB’s song “The City.” Are we taking bets to see how many terribly lame and utterly overused Canadian music will actually end up on the list? To be truthful, the music should be more than simply by a Canadian artist but truly reflect who we are as a country. Not an easy task, I’m sure.
I finally got around to reading the weekend paper this morning only to discover (where have I been?) that Harold Pinter passed away. J. Kelly Nestruck’s tribute was lovely but I was inspired by Pinter’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
It’s a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence. What follows is fitful, uncertain, even hallucinatory, although sometimes it can be an unstoppable avalanche. The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. You certainly can’t dictate to them. To a certain extent you play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man’s buff, hide and seek. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.
So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time.