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Famous Writers


ISSUE:  Winter 2020

 

There must’ve been some incident, something to push both Dickinson and Proust into isolation, the horse thought as a student, but now he thinks time and immortality require one’s full attention. Time is essential, but the horse is writing about place: The seat of memory is a horse at sea, and the mind works like a crossbow taut between geographies. Proust, Dickinson, they could write about time by removing space or at least containing it in one room. Dickinson did not attend her father’s funeral, but stayed in her room and cracked the door. Funerals are, for the living, social events, but to think about death, one needs a limited frame: a wooden lid cleft for viewing, a door suggesting passage or, one imagines, on the other side of the room, the window opened. Proust, on the other hand, in his cork-lined bedroom, is more akin to a body of ripe fruit. The French, you know, throw their wine corks into the fruit bowl to keep away the flies. For the horse, isolation is placed in his little cottage hermitage by the sea. Memory is corporeal. Downstairs, the body in the coffin is folded as if inside an envelope left unaddressed. The horse was tired and, while looking at a Twombly, saw a van Gogh wheat field, a point to rest his binocular vision. He only laughed once reading volume one of Remembrance of Things Past; in the scene with the monocles, he felt so seen like a poorly drawn donkey without a tail surrounded by blindfolded children. The decision was simple once it was made.

 

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