Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where Shall I Put All These Gifts?

I went to an amazing class yesterday - The Lyric Documentary. And even though I'm bitter number three on the waiting list I thought I'd share an excerpt from a handout that was given to us.

From "Walker Evans And The Picture Postcard" an excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift:

"The sun playing on various objects along the [right] side of the street - like a Magpie picking out the tiny things that glittered. And at the end of it, where it was crossed by the wide ravine of the railroad, a cloud of locomotive steam suddenly appeared from the right of the bridge; disintegrated against its iron ribs; then immediately loomed white again on the other side; and wavily streamed away, through the gaps in the trees. Crossing the bridge after this, Fyodor, as usual, was gladdened by the wonderful poetry of the railroad banks; by their free and diversified nature; a growth of locusts and swallows; wild grass; bees; butterflies - all this lived in isolation and unconcern, in the harsh vicinity of coal dust glistening below, between the five streams of rails, and in the blissful estrangement from the city coulisses above; from the peeled walls of old houses toasting their tatooed banks in the morning sunshine.

Where shall I put all the gifts with which the summer morning rewards me, and only me? Save them up for future books? Use them immediately for a practical handbook called "How to be Happy?" Or, getting deeper, to the bottom of things, understand what is concealed behind all this: behind the play, the sparkle the thick green greasepaint of the foliage?

For there really is something - there is something! And one wants to offer thanks, but there is no one to thank."

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