Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I Don't Speak Any Language Besides The Ones I Do.

I am reading Malcom Lowry's "Under The Volcano". I don't speak spanish. I don't understand the Spanish-language passages that come ever page or so except as formal stand-ins for my own confusion. Holes in the text. Some part of the text that feels instead of speaks.
I value my confusion. It stretches time because it always ends. Maybe it is similar to what is horror vs. what is terror. Confusion is horrifying, not terrorizing.
I watched Bertolucci's "The Conformist" the other night, dubbed in English. I forgot that a scene at a dance for the blind isn't dubbed, they speak Italian for the whole scene. I love that film and don't know if there's something wrong with my copy. I watched it this time with my girlfriend and it felt good to say "Don't worry, this ends....I think." to ensure someone things had not gone wrong, that there would be a return. This was a gap, not an end.
I am not often confused. A few years ago I went to an exhibition that a friend curated in Vancouver. There was a piece in the show that consisted of some text written on the wall that read something like "Every day I will leave this point an walk until I am lost..." and then something about what they would do then. I couldn't imagine how far I would have to walk before I was really lost. I have a pretty good sense of direction and a low threshold for alarm at being lost. If I were that artist, I don't think I would make it back in time the next day to get lost again.

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