Friday, September 16, 2005


Sought: a way to reverse Kertészian “emotional atrophying.”

“I am entangling her, tying her to myself, turning, swirling like two brightly colored, agile circus performers, who, in the end, take their bows, deathly pale and empty-handed before a malicious spectator—before failure . . . yes, indeed, one has to, at least, strive for failure, says . . . because failure and failure alone remains as the one single accomplishable experience, say I. Thus, I, too, am striving for failure, if strive I must, and I must because I live and write and both are strives, life a rather blind one, writing more of a seeing strive and as such a different striving from life. Perhaps the strive in writing is striving to see what life’s strive is, and for that reason, since it can’t do any differently, it retells life, repeats life as if it were life as well, even though it is not, quite fundamentally, quite incomparably it is not, and as such its failure is fundamentally assured as soon as we begin to write and write of life.”

Imre Kertész, trans. Christopher C. Wilson and Katharina M. Wilson, Kaddish for a Child Not Born (Northwestern University Press, 1997)


Post midnight, with G. tossing restless, too excited to sleep (he’s off with ’s violin teacher to Itzhak Perlman in concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra today), I think: “Wee Sleekit, couring, timorous beastie,” for a small animal.

B. B. King is eighty. Recalling a hot Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C. circa 1968-9, opening act: Chairmen of the Board. Some flipped out cat wild windmill-dancing up on stage, and dragged off by cops. Nothin’ bother’d B. B.