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Friday, July 18, 2008

I am writing from a far-off country

We were meant to hang out with the Aged Poet this morning, but Bumblebee woke up with a deep fruity cough that I thought was best to keep away from her, so we stayed in our pyjamas until lunchtime. He played with the Darth Vader half of his new toy -- he really does love that incarnation of it -- and I tweaked my website a bit more, adding a book that I made as a student about eight years ago called I am writing to you from a far-off country: Experiencing Henri Michaux (I was fond of long book titles as a student).

I've lost this book -- I gave it to an art dealer not long after it was made and I've never seen it or heard from her again -- and I found I had all the files on some old disks. So now it exists again in virtual form, which is great because I put a lot of work and thought into it.



It's a response to a body of writing by French writer Henri Michaux that took my fancy, and also a response to the frustration I feel when I read something in translation, because I always get that sense that I'm missing out on the gravy of the text even though I'm eating the meat. I did this project before I made my Akhmatova book, and it sort of gave me a practice run with this issue, although I quite like the personal touch I gave this particular effort; it's almost a series of blog posts.



When I read these -- written four years before I started blogging -- I know why I started blogging.





A natural, aren't I?

I don't expect you to go and read all these postcards, but if you're interested, I'm very proud of the way my anecdotes respond to Michaux's whimsical ponderings. Michaux himself used his language very loosely. I remember reading somewhere that he offended many by breaking lots of the very strict rules of writing French, so translating him must have been a task and a half. I think he would have enjoyed what Babelfish did to his words.




(A note for anyone wanting to use that email for spam: it's completely out of date and you'll never get any joy from it.)

Sigh. It's nice to see it again. It's a lovely time-capsule.

7 comments:

Pavlov's Cat said...

What a lovely brain you have.

genevieve said...

Merveilleuse. I am going to read them all.
Re the blogstylings: 'You were only waiting for this moment to arrive.'

Ampersand Duck said...

why thank you, both.

Mrs Slocombe said...

They look beautiful and are intruguing: I especially like that fragment that looks a bit like France.......

Ann O'Dyne said...

Only Your Best Friends Will Tell You:

I usually arrive at blogs via a bloggers comment at the previous blog - think of me as the frog hopping from lily-pad to lily-pad.

YOUR name, when it appears as a commentor, has always lead me to "This Blogger has chosen not to reveal their profile"

So after getting the bad story this time, and because Copperwitch insisted that I come to your place
I clicked on a proper Link to 'And Duck ... usually with Blogspots there is a SEE MY COMPLETE PROFILE, you don't have that part. That part is where people who follow one of your comments elsewhere, would land, so, something needs fixing somewhere in your blogness.
Despite all that, you are the Blogistocracy.
peace and love

Ampersand Duck said...

Thank you, Ann. That's a valuable piece of information. I don't know why it's happening because I always try to reveal who I am. Maybe my gravatar is broken?

My friend Zoe has a policy of 'friends don't let friends...'; she once pulled me over as we were walking and picked a piece of parsley from my teeth. 'Friends don't let friends walk around like that,' she said.

So thank you, it's not quite parsley, but it's a good bloggy equivalent!

Ampersand Duck said...

OK, I think I fixed it now!