Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stendhal and so-called coincidence
If there were a better word that “coincidence” then I would use it. Situation: I buy a gorgeous 1946 German copy of Stendhal's “Über die Liebe” (aka original title: "De l'amour") and it sits on my shelf for… let’s say at least two years. The other day – while looking for something out of the ordinary to ready, I finally pick it up and move it to my bedside, reading a bit then placing it atop the stack before falling asleep.
The following morning a co-worker offers me a pile of the last few months work of New Yorkers – which now due to their hard-to-get-ness, I have gone from despising to now reading cover to cover. The New Yorker magazine is a blueprint now automatically building itself as a fantasy world which I will readily pop into from the morning commute here to escape the stillborn (not bad, just stillborn) vibes humming on the backs of the eyelids of my fellow Berliners in the first waves of workers rusing to work, those bound by duty, life mmyself, to get their asses moving and on a train before 7am, the grumpy, poop-faced droves who have not yet attempted to entertain themselves… with music or mini-laptops… (is it a generational gap or do they just need to suffer in boredom and silence?)
If there were a better word that “coincidence” then I would use it because I open the first New Yorker magazine at random and flip to the first beginning of a gull article I come across, and there in black and white Stendahl is quoted on love. (Good article, actually,but not the point of my post). Closer to the point is:
Who even quotes Stendhal? (NOTE: found out I had been misspellng it for years as Stendahl? And what are the chances that I would choose to start reading his book and then within the same 24 hour period encounter a quote by him in a magazine – a magazine that I rarely read ? I honestly I don’t think I had ever seen him quoted in any text ever before… but recently, this – or these- types of “coincidences” have been happening in droves, and those were just the ones I had been able to catch…
During research for Platypus Down – which consisted of me not consciously researching anything but rather blocking out most all electronic media – especially artificially connected/searchable infomedia and just observe and receive any and all bits and pieces of informations, any hints of relationships and routines, activities and possible thoughts.
Perhaps think of it terms of: rather than hunting and romping through the forest you just to and sit doing nothing but watching and taking notes, and after a year of this, well, you feel very very different about the activity in the forest. loose ends blowing in the wind, and just having this endless slew.
The coincidences started happening so often and so regularly that they no longer surprised me, I saw them and they seemed to simply fit well in the natural (naturally chaotic and complex) order of things…
So here we go. As I begin the next book it is: back to the woods, round two.

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