Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calling in

A Dutchman on a Spanish island
and an American woman in Dub-
lin talk on the telephone. 
There are seven billion people 
in the world, so these two in-
dividuals speaking to each oth-
er might seem like an extreme
coincidence. But, as the phi-
losopher rightly said, all that
is real is rational ..

Yesterday's conversation -
across the Pyrenees, across
the Irish Sea - was about
what they were reading at
that moment. She is reading
a biography of Nureyev; he
Volume iii of Chateaubriand's
Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe ..

The man in Spain is reading
not so much for the politics
and the history, but for Cha-
teaubriand's magnificent, con-
cise French, in which he ana-
lyses European relationships
like a game of chess. She, in
Dublin, has read the 782 pages
of Julie Kavanagh's 'beautiful-
ly written' biography deep in-
to the night ..

Both have penetrated, at a
particular point and a par-
ticular moment, into the
endless series of manifes-
tations of our existence on
earth, and are reporting back
to each other. There is noth-
ing remarkable about that, 
and yet there is.

Cees Nooteboom
Letters to Poseidon
Laura Watkinson
op. cit.

ii  Azamat Akhmadbaev
    Night Lights

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