Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gathering figments

Way leads on to way, so they say. Although the memory of where they diverged - back there in the woods - remains, that's where it stays: in memory.

Trying to change habits - ingrained, plodding, comfortablenesses - is no easy task: determination, attention and discomfort loom large. The thought occupied my mind - mind, not brain, although the difference puzzles me - that I want to read more. Wrong. I want to feel comfortable to give myself permission to read more. Sustained reading: reading where the head floats off creating images from words on the page. Delicious, entrancing images that the eye has never seen: figments of an imagination.

Herewith, the nest. And here the main attraction, and there, and over there, too. My cherished copy of Gatsby inscribed in 1970 in a scrawling, yet still recognisable, hand with "Discuss the relation of the description of Daisy to the structure of the novel". Oh God, I really thought that mattered. Then.

And what is this: a guide roughly yanked from Saturday's paper? And tickets! Already they have sent the tickets ... 2009 Sydney Writers' Festival.

After slaving most of Sunday over a hot programme sprawled off the couch, with pink highlighter triumphantly signifying "definite" and red texta flashing "physical impossibility", the die is cast.

Thursday 21st May
From hot copy to hard cover
Norman Doidge on neuroplasticity
Clark & Whitlam: controversial biography
Fact & Fiction: Navigating the Borderlands
On Grief
Musings on Mr Darwin's Shooter with Roger McDonald

Friday 22nd May
The Future of Journalism
The Brain that Changes Itself: Judge for yourself
Biography & Intimacy
Investigative Journalism

Saturday 23rd May
Richard Flanagan in Conversation
The Rise & Fall of Government
The Stuff of the Past
Journalism's big narrative dig
On doubt, luck and humbug
Remembering David Foster Wallace

Sunday 24th May
Kate Grenville in conversation

Woe is me: I shall be just too busy to go to work those days. Will just have to consider it a dress-rehearsal for the big R.

And what will at least one of you fixate upon? Just possibly the final event on the Saturday. My interest has been piqued. My intellect twanged. I admit that I ploughed doggedly through the entire 14 pages of the NYer article, copped it sweet when my DD condescendingly suggested that he probably wasn't my style, but the final rub - aye, there is invariably one of those - was when she dropped that Juggs (known affectionately to his mother as Shaun) cried soft, warm tears of disbelief on the passing of DFW.

So ... I embark upon a journey of discovery.


Owen Phillips said...

Beautiful writing... what a pleasure to read your thoughts here...

Joan Elizabeth said...

"Reading where the head floats off creating images from words on the page" What an entrancing luxury that I only ever seem to manage when I am on holidays or perhaps in mid-winter sitting by the log fire. Thanks for the reminder of past bliss ... and for the lovely photo.

altadenahiker said...

Lovely poem, just lovely.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very nice thoughts. very poetic.

Tash said...

Wonderful - I'm visiting here more often.