Unreal Nature

January 25, 2015

First, Laziness

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:49 am

… then laziness turns into patience, and patience becomes tireless labor, feverish impatience that struggles with time …

This is from the essay ‘The Experience of Proust‘ found in The Book to Come by Maurice Blanchot (1959; 2003):

… The painful thought comes to him that if he owes his ability to enter into a decisive contact with the essence of literature to a transformed inwardness of time, then he owes to destructive time, whose formidable power of mutability he contemplates, the much more constant threat of seeing himself, moment by moment, losing the “time” to write.

… All the real time is necessary to arrive at this unreal movement, but, although there may be a perhaps ungraspable relationship — which in any case Proust refuses to grasp — between the two forms of becoming, what he also affirms is that this revelation is in no way the necessary effect of a progressive development: it has the irregularity of chance, the gracious strength of an unmerited gift, which does not in the least recompense a long and skillful labor of development.

… one is amazed by the help he received from destructive time, which, in him and against him, was the accomplice of his work. This work [Jean Santeuil, published posthumously] was above all threatened by an over-hasty completion. The longer it takes, the closer it gets to itself. In the movement of the book, we discern this postponement that withholds it, as if, foretelling the death that is at its end, it was trying, in order to avoid death, to run back on its own course. First laziness fights all the facile ambitions in Proust; then laziness turns into patience, and patience becomes tireless labor, feverish impatience that struggles with time, when time is measured.

-Julie

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