Friday 20 November 2015

Last night, in a short burst of sleep amid nightmarish itching, I dreamed of a young artist who'd written in a section of his painting in tiny angular script. For the first time I've written the truth, he said. Have you read Walser's Microscripts? I asked.

So I have to look at Walser again. Eloquent yet taciturn wordsmith, as he describes himself, these pieces come from a brink of some kind, they have been brought forward from their micro state into the light of a handsome volume (New Directions/Christine Burgin 2010). How to read them. Easy to reside there, to pick up phrases here and there like a dilettante at a picnic. A piece of Comté with bullace cheese. Walser wishes he had the right to find fault with a crisis of cheerfulness. He enters his every day with disarming penetration.
Usually I first put on a prose piece jacket, a sort of writer's smock, before venturing to begin with composition, but I'm in a rush right now and besides, this is just a tiny little piece, a silly trifle featuring beer coasters round as plates. Children were playing with them and I was watching them play. 
As far in as he manages to go, in words, he does not, in person, you imagine; he watches. What you are reading is someone's entire relationship to the world around him. There is no more he can say than this. Which is the same as saying this is the truth.

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