It came to me as I was falling asleep last night: the way I want to re-work Contes d’Exil is with fairy-tale type illustrations to the narrative – said narrative making no particular concession to group-age as a determining factor for suitability. The stories themselves can be read either as fairy-tales gone somewhat awry (or more to the point, fairy tales before they were homogenized and rendered in nothing but the softer hues); or tales from people who sometimes stumble across the fine line between the dream world and the awake one. I pulled out some of the older materials relating to my friend Pyotr (seen above), a handmade bear I bought in Geneva many years ago. Pyotr was the trigger to a whole series of tales I’m re-examining in this new light. In the photograph, the writing on the page mentions two faces of the bear-as-object; the photo shows three. Not to worry since there are four in actuality, if I include the dancing Turkish bear in the frame on the table – which I must, since he also appears in one of the tales. I’m continuing to work on these stories in French because that’s how they come to me, for better or worse.
In other news, I fell under the spell of a goofy, baroque and wonderful version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute yesterday: the one performed by l’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, an Italian group composed of a wild assortment of musicians from nine or ten different countries, under the direction of classically-trained composer Mario Tronco. Here’s an excerpt. Personally, I can’t help hearing the Papageno-Pagagena aria performed by ducks now. Hear it? Something will come of it, I know – probably in the other French-language story presently in the incubator.
The only question is whether I’ll manage to concentrate on anything today while listening to the Papageno-Papagena aria in Duck playing in my head. Yes the viruses are firmly entrenched in my throat now but there’s no saying if the damage they’ve done to the brain pan is permanent or not. Whatever. As one of my characters is about to say to another: “I want you to realize we may not come out of this alive.” To which the reply will be: “That is a foregone conclusion.” Point taken. Onward and so on, after suitable doses of ibuprofen and tea.
To those reading this from time zones ahead of mine, New Year greetings from Graulhet. To those reading this while it’s still yesterday …hmm… hi.
Can’t find a title to this post. A first. (No, I will not – ducks, enough I said!)