søndag den 6. april 2014

Snart dages Davis

I morgen (eller i nat!?) burde Lydia Davis' med længsel ventede nye bog Can't and Won't poppe op på min iPad: Jeg kan næsten ikke vente, og jeg prøver at ignorere, at jeg så den i vinduet hos Politikens Boghal tidligere i dag (og derfor MÅSKE har været til salg i indtil flere dage dér). Jeg får ventetiden til at gå med at citere fra det fine Lydia-portræt, ved Dana Goodyear, i The New Yorker:

One recent morning, Davis sat at her kitchen table with a pocket-size black notebook and a hardcover novel by a popular writer, whom she asked me not to name. "I don't like to hurt people's feelings, and I don't like to knock other writers as a matter of principle." she said. Though enjoyably soap-operatic, the novel, that month's selection for her book club - local women, wine, family talk - was full of mixed metaphors. "I've gotten very alert not just to mixed metaphor but to any writing mistake," she said. "A little bell goes off in my head first. I know something's wrong here. Then secondly I see what it is." She opened the notebook and read a sentence about an acute intimacy that had eroded into something dull. "Acute is sharp, and then eroded is an earth metaphor," she said. She read another: "'A paper bag stuffed with empty wine bottles.' You'd think he could get away with it, but he can't, beacause 'stuffed' is a verb thar comes from material. It's soft, so it's a problem to stuff it with something hard." There were sentences about camouflaging with veneer, and gliding with an orb, and boomeranging parallels. "Whenever I read this kind of thing, it tells me the writer is not sensitive to the full value of the idea of comparison," she said.
  But to be curmudgeonly was not the point. As she was noting the mistakes, she kept flipping to the back jacket to look at the author's photograph: a relaxed, good-looking man, smiling openly at the camera. A little idea started to take shape, enough for a one-line story. "I just write down one sentence," she said. "This would be assuming a kind of yenta voice: "Such a handsome young fellow to write such bad mixed metaphors.' She smiled. "It's me feeling a little sorry that I'm writing down all his mistakes, because he looks so frindly and nice and in a way innocent. Some author photos don't look so innocent."

"I have to guard against the tendency - I could make anything into a story," Davis told me. Several years ago, she started writing a long note to he literary executor, but had to stop when it began to take on a life of its own. "I was trying just to write instructions, you know, 'My notebooks should go here,' 'You should looh through my notebooks and make sure to take out any references to blah blah blah,'" she said. "But it began to get too elobarate, too detailed, too opinionated, and too irrational. It wasn't a straightforward document anymore. I didn't really want it to become a story, because I needed it to be an actual letter to my executor." She could not pull it back into real life, though, and for the time being the letter is stopped midstream. 

2 kommentarer:

  1. Jeg tog fejl! Det er jo først den 8. i morgen, og det vil sige at bogen først oppopper i morgen. Jeg hader at genindstille mit længselsstopur

  2. Men nu ankom til gengæld 1. episode af Game of Thrones' 4. sæson på HBO; sådan cirka det modsatte af Lydia, bortset lige fra underholdningsværdien, der er dramatisk høj i begge tilfælde