online: 18 november 2003
modified: 2 december 2003

17 november 2003 in the moment


...but it is now 22:42 and all day I have been trying, but failing, to succeed in the moment...

...such as in that moment experienced yesterday while reading about Shakespeare's history plays... moments in which everything seemed miraculous, and quite static, as (also) in No plays about which I was also reading, in the old reading room of the British Museum, almost shorn of bureaucracy and with librarians who volunteer assistance, as if by kindness, not duty...

...As I read, inside that huge hemisphere, and later in the cloister outside it, the whole space and the books and exhibits, and people, it all became one, a singular reality, not separate objects with names, but each thing being a part of the unnameable something that was triggered by reading such astonishing thoughts or facts as these*, re No plays (my paraphrases):

there are no definite characters

little or no rehearsal

taught as forms to be memorised and performed not as meanings to be communicated which I add now this remark** re Richard II:

the mere right scansion of the verse [gives] the meaning without any further effort on the actor's part

So often do I return to the marvellous reality of theatre, or film, or dance, or of any performance provided that it takes the opportunity of putting meaning in second place to form, or in last place to everything - and thus reopening life to unnamed reality.

...the bird on her shoulder,
the garden around him,
the road through the woods,
the thought at his lips,
and the light on the words...

Done, delete, restore...

there is nothing to say now
from Sweden
or of rasberries

* Japanese No Dramas, introduced and translated by Royall Tyler, Penguin Books, London 1992.

**William Shakespeare, Richard II, edited by Stanley Wells, Penguin Books, London 1969, quoting Harley Granville Barker, page 9.

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