It was June 2010, right after my graduation and I was walking to the beach with a friend in a small village near somewhere (exactly there). We were relieved after witnessing we had our future in our hands and that, right then, we could do anything with it. I remember walking from the beach to the station with salted and fresh skin, beach summer dress and the taste of an ice-cream still in my mouth, looking at all the possibilities future may bring. By then I was thrilled about the idea of specializing on my literature studies and go somewhere and do “something”…. like when you know you are going to do “something” in this world. I had two doors opened, one was simply about “having an experience” and the other had to do with my goals by then. Then my friend mentioned this book, which we had to read for class but we never did due to the time. A book about someone obsessed with an author. “You know? like in Hallucinating Foucault, the guy lives in a 4m2 apartment with a picture of the object of his obsession on the wall right in front of his nose, just for the sake of studying and breathing his author.” It’s a very romantic idea, I know… but I sometimes remember that small things like that it’s all I need to be happy. Loving something that much that you need no more. And that is what I feel with books, photography and a few people. I need no more. (Thanks, life, for reminding me that I also need to make a living out of something, too)
That was my story with Patricia Duncker’s novel even when I hadn’t even read it. Every time I had to consider some things I went back to it, not knowing what it was about but trusting those words I got dedicated on that summer and warm evening.
It had been a while since I read a book, strange on me. Suddenly I decided to start reading and pick that one from my shelves. And it was an awakening. A conversation between a reader and his author. Doubts, fears, emotions and obsession at its pure definition.
Hallucinating Foucault talks about a young boy from Cambridge who moves to France following his author, living in a mental institution, to study him, meet him, read him better, get to know him and free him. A whole journey through inner desire and expectations from life.
I laughed, loved, smiled and cried. Feeling and being honest feeling it is one of the most beautiful things for me, and all the roughness and purity of the self, how we feel, how we feel the others and how we feel ourselves… sometimes near the boundary with madness… or maybe, simply real and pure.
“Maybe madness is the excess of possibility, petit. And writing is reducing possibility to one idea, one book, one sentence, one word. Madness is a form of self-expression. It is the opposite of creativity. You cannot make anything that can be separated from yourself if you’re mad.”
“I began to understand what Jacques Martel had said: that in the recesses of his madness there war a grandeur, a simplicity of spirit that was incapable of lies, pretty resentments or insignificant jealousies. He dealt in primary emotions, essential things.”
“You are the face who always avoids my glance, the man who is just leaving the bar. I search for you through the spirals of all my sentences. I throw out whole pages of manuscript because I cannot find you in them. I search for you in small details, int he shapes of my verbs, the qualities of my phrases”
Madness is sometimes just a fear we create between us and the stranger.
Lucky you, I’m reading a lot, devouring pages, lately, so will be back with more books and readings.
Enjoy a beautiful weekend! Sunny in Barcelona! :)