Friday, 2 May 2008

Played chess last night with .ec to try and fathom these blues. Nothing doing. In fact, so spectacular was my capitulation and my ensuing embarrassment that I tried to pass it away on the fact that we were sat within ear-splitting distance of an amateur ukulele band. I was not tired, hungry or drunk so I had no other excuses. ec. simply laughed and added this occasion to the notebook of all my ill-tempered losses that he is no doubt secretly keeping.

Still, was not all bad. Whilst browsing through a bookshelf of a thousand poetry journals, art catalogues and multiples, I pulled out a volume by a (to me) unheard of author, Tim Robinson. The View From The Horizon, it’s slim size, short chapters and maps, immediately enraptured me and I placed it on the table, determined to leave with it. Ten minutes later, after much deliberation and having gently slid many books out from their positions with little floods of dust, I settled on an anonymous spine. Holding it in my hands, the book offered no immediate identification of its author but upon opening the front cover and reading the title page I was able to read the name: Tim Robinson. How arbitrarily the links with literature are forged.

Sat in the bath last night and read Vertigo. Menaces of WWII have begun to creep into the narrator’s recollections. I began to experience absurd notions of déjà vu, as though I had visited this place before, as though I had journeyed to these middle European hills in a previous sitting. And of course I have, the echoes are there both of the return to Wolfsegg in Bernhard and also of that first night of accommodation in The Trial by Kafka. The recollection is uncanny in its truest, most literal sense. It is unheimlich: unhomely. These are stories of returning to a place which was once home, either actually or through a set of false associations. However, the return simply compounds a distance not realised until a foot is set inside the place. To feel unhomely at home, to feel absent through presence - this is the preoccupation of the novels that I cannot forget.

Outside, in the fierce morning sun, one car alarm activates another further up the street by association, which then sets off another, on and on, until the whole street is singing with alarms.