The Moment

My book, The Moment, will be published in early 2021 by Splice. More details nearer the time.

A real writer

‘Oh, and there’s something I want to speak to you about, Mrs Jansen. I’m afraid Samuel didn’t like the last story you wrote.’ Oh God, this awful sinking of the heart — like going down in a lift. I knew this job was too good to be true. ‘Didn’t he? I’m sorry. What didn’t he like about it?’ ‘Well, I’m afraid he doesn’t like the way you write. What he actually said was that, considering the cost of these stories, he thinks it strange that you should write them in words of one syllable. He says it gets monotonous, and don’t you know any long words, and if you do, would you please use them?….Madame Holmberg is most anxious to collaborate with me. And she’s a real writer — she’s just finished the third volume of her Life of Napoleon.’

— Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight

The Moment

In the murky aftermath of a breakdown, a man still at odds with himself takes flight to a cottage in rural Norfolk. There he intends to strip his life of everything trivial, everything superfluous, paring it all back to the essential truths, values, and experiences. In doing so, he keeps a fragmentary journal: not a record of progress as such, but sporadic notes on his new surroundings as he attends to minor changes in search of an ideal moment — a moment of unity between body and mind, in which there is no distinction between sensation and thought. For decades he has been hounded by the sense of a split self, as if under observation by a nameless double, and he feels that the opportune moment, if it can be found, will relieve him, just briefly, of this spectral presence.

The Moment

Sometimes God, sometimes nothing.

Kafka

What has long since been threatening man with death, and indeed with the death of his essence, is the unconditional character of sheer willing in the sense of purposeful self-assertion in everything.

Heidegger

Great poetry begins in elegy and ends in praise.

Rilke

How to speak? How to tear apart the skin of words?

Czeslaw Milosz

Homecoming and being at home are not instantly acquired; they are possible only through estrangement or openness to the foreign.

Heidegger

The true function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason.

Pascal

We must endure our thoughts all night, until the bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

– Wallace Stevens

The Moment

Photos of the initial hard copy of my book sent to me by Daniel Davis Wood of Splice, who’s doing a superb editing job. With a blurb by the great Lars Iyer.

 

The Moment 1

The Moment 2

The Moment 3

The Moment back cover