Wednesday, November 20

(the narrator here is a polar bear who has learned to write):
"I have to admit: my life changed because I'd made myself an author. Or to be precise, it wasn't exactly me who did that, I was made an author by the sentences I'd written, and that wasn't even the end of the story: each result gave birth to the next, and I found myself being transported to a place I hadn't known existed. Writing was a more dangerous acrobatic stunt than dancing atop a rolling ball. To be sure, I'd worked myself to the bone learning to dance on that ball and actually broke some bones rehearsing, but in the end I attained my goal. In the end I knew with certainty that I could balance on a rolling object - but when it comes to writing, I can make no such claims. Where was the ball of authorship rolling? It couldn't just roll in a straight line, or I'd fall off the stage. My ball was supposed to spin on its axis and at the same time circle the midpoint of the stage, like the Earth revolving around the sun.

Writing demanded as much strength as hunting. When I caught the scent of prey, the first thing I felt was despair: would I succeed in catching my prey, or would I fail yet again? This uncertainty was the hunter's daily lot. When my hunger grew too strong, I was incapable of hunting. All I wanted to do was stop - before the hunt - at a first-class restaurant for a three-course meal. I also wanted to make sure my limbs were adequately rested before each big hunt. My ancestors had spent entire winters slumbering in their sheltered caves. How pleasant it would be to withdraw once a year until spring came to wake me. A true winter knows no light, nor sound, nor work. In the big city, winter shrank and shriveled, and the dimensions of life grew narrow too."
 - Yoko Tawada
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
running after my hat

  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov