Friday, June 09, 2006

berger & also, my birthday

Lisboetas often talk of a feeling, a mood, which they call saudade, usually translated as nostalgia, which is incorrect. Nostalgia implies a comfort, even an indolence such as Lisboa has never enjoyed. Vienna is the capital of nostalgia. This city is still, and has always been, buffeted by too many winds to be nostalgic.

Saudade, I decided as I drank my second coffee and watched a drunk's hands carefully arranging the accurate story he was telling as if it were a pile of envelopes, saudade was the feeling of fury at having to hear the words too late pronounced too calmly.


For example, how to catologue a small page torn from a desk calendar, covering the two weeks from Sunday 22 September
[my birthday!] to Saturday 5 October in the year 1935? In the small space for her notes, between the columns of the two weeks, are written several words. The handwriting is sloping and quick and unconsidered. Perhaps a woman's. The words in English, are: all night, all night and what is it on a postcard.


Circumstances! Anything can hide behind that word. I believe in repairs, as I was telling you, and the one other thing.
What would that be?
The inevitability of desire.

- j. berger


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