They have room, at least just enough to sleep, dine and read. Green is the garden, as the rain falls. They have time: to plan, to work, to love. They have plenty of memories, to edit, reshape, immortalise. They have books, some read, some to read, plenty of them.
The furniture may be in pieces, the rooms strangely expecting the new. They smile, they laugh, they love. They have friends, and peace.
They are home.
The End of the Challenge
There is always an anticlimax at the end, like finishing the first reading of a beloved book. But, somehow, one of the posts has given me an idea. Doing research for the Challenge leads sometime to old friends, or friends one did not expect to have. Thus I have met Régine Deforges, a celebrated writer and hell raiser in her own time. From Régine I have promised myself to read several books, and more about those in due time. For now I have picked up a new project: translating and commenting on Régine’s “O m’a dit” (© Société Nouvelle des Editions Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1975, Nouvelle Edition, Pauvert, 1995), her 1975 interview – sorry – “entretiens” with Pauline Réage, author of Histoire d’O. In fact there is yet another idea beyond this, but for the latter, my readers may have to look elsewhere in these pages.
I think a translation of “O m’a dit” in English already exists (if so I have not read it), but I relish the idea of doing something my own way, with my own bias. “O m’a dit” is a fascinating piece of journalism and critique, one of only two interviews Pauline gave in her lifetime. When, in 1975, Pauline and Régine met they were already friends, and they talked about O, of course, but also about many subjects they were keen to discuss: in those lines one can read the weight of their own success – published and successful author of one world-famous book for Pauline, Régine of many to come – as well of their phantasms. Well, enough for now, and more later. What I am planning to do is to translate (I think the whole text: 170 pages) and post in small chunks with comments, hopefully of interest to you, reader, and I’d probably do that every Wednesday or so under the tag #WritersWednesday!
So, what about the Challenge? Well, it is now over for 2013, and I published the last post yesterday! It has been most enjoyable, and I found it easier than last year, which was my first year of participation.
Do we write to redesign all those actions that led to places we did not expect? Is our imagination of way of travelling back, and have our characters do what we did not dare? Looking at this the other way, from the viewpoint of the characters we create, what are their expectations, of us, of themselves? Are they constrained by our expectations, or are we by theirs? Should we as writers, write without expectation?
Those musings are a mere distraction from the serious business of… writing. I’d like to hear your views, dear followers…
To the outside world he is the image of success itself: a universally celebrated author, his books bestsellers many times over, a happy man who has everything…
To his true friends, those who have known him for many years, he’s the mysterious adult who emerged from that troubled childhood he shared with them.
To his jealous competitors he’s that lucky fellow with the irresistible sense of humour, a feared duellist.
To her, his true love, who has shared his life through misery and triumph, he’s the small boy who cannot grow up…
To himself, who knows the truth, he’s the one who owes her everything: she’s made him who he is, from the ground up.