One Book at the Time :: Original Short Story

When she started out, many months before, she had never thought she’d be able to pull it off. But she was no longer afraid.

There had been times she had almost given up. All the lying, the sneaking around. But today she once more managed to continue to smile to whoever she met. Walking in and out. Slowly, but not too slow. Making sure not to catch any attention 

Today was her last day. Her final day. It all came down to these last three, The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, and Flatland by Edwin Abbott. When she started out, many months before, she had never thought she’d be able to pull it off. But she was no longer afraid. As the months passed, as her visits to the library remained unnoticed, her boldness had grown beyond proportions she had ever dreamt of. At first she had taken just one book at the time. Maybe she had gotten sloppy as the month passed and nobody ever stopped her. Her own house was filled to the brim with books by now, carefully sorted and catalogued over the months. Her collection was pretty much complete. Except for these these three slim, but weighty classics. Continue reading “One Book at the Time :: Original Short Story”

The Soundtrack of Writing

It’s dangerous to reflect once it’s finally going the way you hope. Writing seems like a delicate balance of happiness, frustration and a sense of urgency. Is it me, did something change, or I am I just (finally!) ready to write my PhD, after two-and-a-half years of reading and preparing?
Building momentum, struggling through meters of books, reading complete oeuvres and random books that happen to exist. Reading systematically and hap-snap, but most importantly: taking notes. My notebooks don’t only provide the background that help me now, but will also be the most valuable archive of my own thinking, my development. Future-me will laugh at them, recognising turns in my thinking due to Agamben, Wittgenstein, Badiou, Blanchot.

Working at the library, early, the first to arrive...
Working at the library, Staatsbibliothek Berlin, early, the first to arrive…

An interesting aspect of writing is rhythm. Everything is music (sorry, Jim, not sound). The importance of a rhythm to propel one’s writing forward, music without words, music that is more than background, more than closing off the world around. It’s a beat that moves, the lets the words flow. It keeps out the superego, that would refuse every single word as none reflect the truth that is to be said. That cannot be said. Which is precisely why one needs to go on, either in first person singular, or in the formal we/they.
The present-me is happy. Is only concerned with this moment, one word at the time. Reaching the end of this project, already thinking and constructing the next. Always continuing, faithful only to the illusion of the philosopher-me.
Language. Always language. Something that I don’t understand, which is always beyond understanding, always framing us. Which makes me want to re-read Benjamin. Again. Always already again. While I spend my days here, speaking German and English, writing in English, thinking in Dutch/English/German, reading French/Dutch/German/English.
But always dreaming of the beyond.