“During [the 20th] century, as I say, the epic tradition has been saved for the world by, of all places, Hollywood. When I went to Paris, I felt I wanted to shock people, and when they asked me—they knew that I was interested in the films, or that I had been, because my eyesight is very dim now—and they asked me, ‘What kind of film do you like?’ And I said, ‘Candidly, what I most enjoy are the Westerns.’ They were all Frenchmen; they fully agreed with me. They said, ‘Of course we see such films as Hiroshima mon amour or L’Année dernière à Marienbad out of a sense of duty, but when we want to amuse ourselves, when we want to enjoy ourselves, when we want, well, to get a real kick, then we see American films.’”
Jorge Luis Borges
Grey and furtive in the final twilight,
he lopes by, leaving his spoor along the bank
of this nameless river that has quenched the thirst
of his throat, the water that repeats no stars.
Tonight, the wolf is a shade who runs alone
and searches for his mate and feels cold.
He is the last wolf in all of Angle-land.
Odin and Thor know him. In a commanding
house of stone a king has made up his mind
to put an end to wolves. The powerful
blade of your death has already been forged.
Saxon wolf, your seed has come to nothing.
To be cruel isn’t enough. You are the last.
A thousand years will pass and an old man
will dream of you in America. What use
can that future dream possibly be to you?
Tonight the men who followed through the woods
the spoor you left are closing in on you,
grey and furtive in the final twilight.
(Trans. by Robert Mezey)
On my short list of favorite writers – Flannery O’Connor.
O’Connor reads “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” Vanderbilt University, 1959
after Jean Follain
In the evenings they listen to the same
tunes nobody could call happy
somebody turns up at the edge of town
the roses bloom
and an old dinner bell rings once more
under the thunder clouds
In front of the porch posts of the store
a man seated on a soda water case
turns around and spits and says
in his new set of clothes
holding up his hands
as long as I live nobody
touches my dogs my friends
– from The Singing Knives
I read the poems, the stories, the letters of Elizabeth Bishop, and I know I’ve never read a better writer.
Bishop reads “In the Waiting Room” – from her finest book, Geography III:
The Perfect Human (the complete film – length – 12:57 mins.), directed by Jørgen Leth, Danish poet and filmmaker … This 1967 film is the basis for The Five Obstructions, the 2003 film by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth.