Kertész on writing

Two quotes on writing from Imre Kertész´s Liquidation

"I´m afraid I am unable to grapple with what should come--or does or did come--next. I lack something, the testimony of the eternally impassive eye, if I may put it in such a way. For I have observed that with writers, true writers I mean... the eye impartially and incorruptibly registers even the emotionally or physically most testing events, while the rest of the mundane personality, if I may put it in such a way, becomes completely integrated into those events in exactly the same way as happens with anyone else. I would go so far as to declare that literary talent may, at least partly, be no more than this impassive eye, this state of strangeness that can subsequently be coaxed into speech. It is a half step, a distancing half a pace, whereas I always progress together with things, always pervaded by events, always disturbed by and buried under the facts."

"But I believe in writing--nothing else; just writing. Man may live like a worm, but he writes like a god. There was a time when that secret was known, but now it has been forgotten; the world is composed of disintegrating fragment, an incoherent dark chaos, sustained by writing alone. If you have a concept of the world, if you have not yet forgotten all that has happened, that you have a world at all, it is writing that has created that for you, and ceaselessly goes on creating it; Logos, the invisible spider´s thread that holds our lives together. There is an ancient, biblical word: scribe. It has long fallen out of use. A scribe is something different from a talent, different from a good writer. He is not a philosopher, not a linguist nor a stylist. Even if he stammers, and you don´t immediately understand him either, you instantly recognize a scribe."

No comments:

Post a Comment