Danielle Collobert; Notebooks

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1959

June

At the Terminus — one night
“First night of total release blended with looks with surface
gestures — Seamless connections of knowledge, of near
absolute understanding, faultless, of a smile, of a word.
The schedule kicks in mid-flight, returning the rhythm of day
and night, of a familiar convention opposed only by the desire
not to — instant guilt at the margins of the normal, the
reassuring —
So I set off on a tangent, from an unbroken sleep, into the rain
and lively gusting wind; and the words, and the unformed
phrases slide into tight folds of sorrow, tragic, transparent; and
finally, in the bright neon, on the bright pavement, they gaze
into my face, tight, devoid of tenderness — sought-after
solitude, exacting — crushing, ruthless freedom —
3 o’clock — Terminus — good name — companions of the
night — night company — Cold — deserted — high-cost
moment of anguish — powerful time, definitive leap toward
the end, my end, my death — Other nights’ preparation,
preparation for the unlivable — rebel race of conservation —
Neither gentle and lively sensation , nor fleeting impression
can stave off a future comparable to a continuous self-destruc-
tion, by my own weapon, chosen with the care of an
unmistakable masochism, by the awareness of this necessary
self-destruction —
They keep coming back without a break, these blows borne
by memories — Fear of going backwards — Fear of mixing that
weight into the present — Integration of myself with myself
without rifts, in a shift that binds all the movements, ideas,
words together.
Translucid subjects through yellow curtains —
Who takes such things seriously? Lives, dialogues, words for
nothing, like questions in sleep, in dream —
Strange night — how to tell it — What use is looking for “the
content is obscure, and finally returns, and finally a shadow
value bursts into the whiteness of beginning.” And the words
unfollowed arrive thus amid other presences.
Night of guitar carriers.  The musicians go by — night people.
Waiting for dawn — start of an other life — start of regular
work. Habit’s dignity among the unusual, deeply buried under
the serenity of small things, small ideas.
Stray words muttered quickly, repeated in a drunkard’s
dream. Vast space between these faces and their reflections.
Wiry little Pole, dirty old hunchback, has-been old actor,
strange voices, strange hands, long, soft — little flames
without incandescence at the brink. Do they also need to live
their myth, unto death, even in these dirty old bistros. The
dream’s, a dream’s consolation.
Where could leaders be here? No consciousness — silence —
long silence — unknown beings — ignorant — little remarks,
carelessness, cliches, repetition. They try.“
6 o’clock — reread —dumb — except 1 sentence*

 

June

Can you imagine a book  beginning “First night of total re-
lease, etc.” — what ideas — something just me — no character
— sometimes I want to try — from time to time I write pages
without sequence — stories — clay — above all, no plot —
other than what I see of people — one person — not to enter the
realm of situation — I don’t locate it in a development — but
rather sense it immediately,  in an immediate response. It’s only
in an artificial way,  at the second remove, that I try to see it in a
frame — generally I know people what they do but not where
they  work, how they live, rather I know their
movements, manner of speaking — little things —
Write little stories,
solitude —
But here who’s alone — two, three four are — little groups —
talking — not noticing anything — Maybe later — when they
go back out into the street — home — a short trip — they’re a
little afraid — maybe but not much — some are —

 

1961

September

Tonight I’m starting over — after these parenthetical months
— for them — go real slow — like the first time going out after
being locked up for ages —
tonight calm at last — window open – a little wind – gentle
— feeling my bathrobe — music below — I just picked up K.’s
journal — always the way to get back to work when it’s not
happening — Kafka or Beckett — to start up again —
nothing is finished — the problem hasn’t been resolved — but
I’m at the end of my rope  still struggling with it — because it
would be easier to keep going with them than pick up my life
where it left off —
these months speak years — many new things — to be
completely current with present events — living the news as it
happens – with no time lag — now it’s difficult to become
nothing but a spectator again —
what counted was the immediate — objective justification was
impossible – for what I was doing — theoretical questions
useless — when I make theory for others — I end up not believ-
ing it — immediate action justified immediately in its entirety
— uncomfortable position but real —
for months no writing — impossible to reconcile the two —
walk paying attention — I’ve lost sensation — closeness of the
outside world around me — I’m not connecting with things any
more — could be irreparable loss — trying now to recover
sensations objects for instance — the table’s smoothness —
its color — my hand on the paper —
it’s raining — that helps me — I feel better — more differenti-
ated from things — from the outside —
blur already —

 

 

TRANSLATED BY NORMA COLE
LITMUS PRESS 2003

One Comment

  1. […] SEE ALSO: DANIELLE COLLOBERT |  NOTEBOOKS 1956 – 1978 […]

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