online: 5 april 2002

4 may 2002 talking

17:12 Drinking tea beneath gray and white clouds - among others doing the same. Many conversations. The compulsion to talk when in company - is it good? Quite often not, I should say. To me it is better to look about and listen, to pay attention to the context, the whole situation, and not to just speak one's thoughts, continuously, compulsively. But I imagine that to many people talk is essential, almost the purpose of life!

But here I am 'talking' through my hand on this screen to people far away, and later in time, if they choose to read it.

But now I remember the new epigraph* and let my thoughts and words relate to or become just the writing itself - something undefined and undirected. Something of itself independent of my prior intentions or those of any reader. Yes.

But again I wonder if that purposelessness, this talkwriting to myself, is perhaps the same joy as is experienced, even sought, by anyone who enjoys conversation, the art of it, one of the finest of fine arts perhaps? Yes yes!

*I was remembering the following quotation (which appears at the foot of homepage version 2.2 - for may and june 2002, the duration of daffodil 8):

When a young novelist showed [Gertrude Stein] some of his writing she said:

"You must cut out excrescences. Let nothing else get in but that clear vision which you are alone with. If you have an audience it's not art. If anyone hears you it's no longer pure. Remarks are not literature."

from Janet Flanner's memories of Gertrude Stein's sayings - in the foreword to: Two, Gertrude Stein and Her Brother,and other early portraits, Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, New York 1969, reprinted by arrangement with Yale University Press, page xvi.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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