Sunday, February 19, 2012

From a Diary: I:xviii

What is Renewable Music, anyways? So I'm reading David Antin writing about Marjorie Perloff writing about Ludwig Wittgenstein this evening and Antin — inevitably, as he's writing about the Tractatus — has to use the word "picture" and I'm suddenly thrown back for a moment or two by the look of that word, "picture". It just doesn't look right, the orthography doesn't click, it's as if I've forgotten the spelling and simply can't recognize it, though I damn well know I've been reading and writing that word for four and a half decades. The very shape of those letters in that sequence suddenly looks wrong... is that really a word? Do English words really do that? For that moment, it doesn't look a thing like the word [picture] in my head or match the sound of the word [picture] in my head, but there it is. Picture that. Then, later in the evening, I'm overhearing music, not quite listening, just on the edge of really being able to hear it, as it's coming from the room next door. It's music I know well, the Scène d'amour from Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette, extraordinary music anytime, but at this moment, when I can barely hear it, filtered through a wall and resonated by an odd pair of rooms, generally attenuated, but with a booming if counter-functional bass and odd details popping to the surface, it's not immediately recognizable, but it's strange and wonderful, and even in the inevitable moment of delayed recognition, it is a strange and wonderful renewed acquaintance.

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