Saturday, January 17, 2009

Noted: Jacques Roubaud

From The Great Fire of London:
I am always ready to yield to every sort of distraction: reading, daydreaming, romantic thoughts. To accomplish even the least amount of work, to finish even the least number of lines, I must cross an invisible boundary of inward refusal, of disgust, of my desire to escape, to put off till later, until tomorrow, indefinitely. Getting myself started requires exhausting a great deal of energy, of exhortations, self-reproaches. The conditions necessary for a working mood are so hard to come by that I sometimes wonder how I've proved able, on occasion, to manage it.

This is one of my life's constants, for which I'll seek no explanation. At times it's a rather appalling constant, since the passing years don't do a thing by way of improving it, nor do they facilitate my task; on the contrary: I've often imagined that inwardly mustering my forces with a certain regularity, accumulating victorious moments and even days, would build up a sort of reflex, an impetus, habit; and that since growing old would be accompanied simultaneously by the waning attractiveness of distractions, I would enter into a few luminous years when I would be able to do everything that I had decided and planned on doing in the span that I had consecrated to such duties. This did not occur, and I know full well that it never will.

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