Why structures stay put (most of the time)

In Current reading, Drafts, Hautvoir, Local projects on March 23, 2014 at 8:02 am

“Living it over and over again, I see that what stands out are moments, not facts. Moments and places, and often looks – certain unforgettable expressions which the human countenance registers only once or twice in a lifetime. As for chronology, cause and event, the record remains, like history itself, confused and baffling. Every one writes his own history of world events. If it were possible to compare accounts, we would be dismayed to discover that the historical has neither reality nor authenticity, that the past, private or universal, is an impenetrable jungle.”

(Henry Miller, The World of Sex, Calder & Boyars, London 1970 –  at least, for the paperback edition now in my possession.)


Disconcerting 1 : someone taking notes while I speak. Later, the woman laughs so hard while she writes, all I want to do is set my own writing aside and hear her read all about it out loud.


Disconcerting 2: in Part III, characters show up who were not included in the initial storyline. Their appearance messes up most of the writer’s preconceptions (but… isn’t that what the woman was jotting down? Something about following the characters where they don’t make sense any more?) In this case: the wife – at least the wife, not to mention everybody else who knows him – has to call him by one name and not another. Assuming she calls him Bill, for instance, he must appear as Bill on the payroll too. No? Ah-ha. Take that ball of string, Lucie, and make what you can of it.


The wallpaper’s gone, even at the top of the wall, thanks to a friend with longer arms and legs than mine. The wall itself now stands revealed, cracks, pits,  gouges and all. The real work begins.

J.E. Gordon : Structures or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. Part III (Chapter 9) Wall, Arches and Dams – or cloud-capp’d towers and the stability of masonry.

Of equal import in Part III of the draft: the woman falls in love with a structural engineer? This makes sense to me, the writer?


All this, as good a way as I can find to keep my mind off today’s first round in the municipal elections.


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