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Friday, 16 November 2007

The Window . . .

Between the hours of 1-2 PM this afternoon something happened to me; something that has only happened to me maybe 3-4 times in my life; that jolt; that charge; that hair-prickling unquantifiable something that can never be explained; something so strong and so great it's often hard to fathom: I read Gabriel Josipovici's Everything Passes.

Literature can never be the same for me again. Never. And it's a glorious thing. It's as simple as that.

More here and here (proving that RSB is always one step ahead).

And from the author himself:

"In 1946 Arnold Schoenberg, in his seventies, and by now living in California, suffered a severe, almost fatal heart attack, and after other attempts had failed, was revived from apparent death only by an injection into the heart. Afterwards he claimed that he had been fully aware of the injection. Very soon after that he wrote one of his greatest works, the String Trio, Opus 45, which, he claimed, described his feelings in that moment of crisis. It certainly is a remarkably violent work, even for Schoenberg, but it also has a desperate, plangent quality which is deeply moving. I wanted to try and find a writerly equivalent. Of course, as I worked at the piece, I found that it was nothing like Schoenberg but rather like other things of mine, if a little more concentrated than most. The anecdote about Schoenberg figures in it and the central character, though he is a writer, has some of the character traits of the composer. When I had finished I found that the piece was 60 pages long. This won’t do at all, I thought, even if publishers were queueing up to publish me, which they aren’t, they wouldn’t want to publish something of 60 pages. Fill it out, I thought, round it out, turn it into a proper novel, even one of your (very short) novels. So I worked and worked at it and eventually I felt it really was done. It was all of 56 pages."

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