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...that man will sleep. The structure slowly opens.
He breathes quietly. He almost sleeps. Will he ever wake ?
Did he believe in God ? Does he dream ?
Perhaps it’s completely unimportant, his dream ?

 

He works in the daytime. All kind of people around him.
He laughs, always friendly, considerate, offends no-one.
Then there’s the relief of the guard; other men and women, doing the same work, but in their own way, slightly quicker, a little more punctual, with more
sense of responsibility, and also slower, much slower sometimes...
Then the men/women from before, from before these men and women, return,
to backslide immutably into their alternative reading of the common repetition.

Building their submarines, their pieces of furniture, her novel...

And when they do not work, they step back to eat, to sleep.
Unaltered and silent. In tensed silence.
Who is to tell what he’s experiencing, restlessly turning and tossing in his bed ?
Perhaps it’s completely unimportant, his dream?
Eating and resting.
Not acting for a moment, there where the shower, the tea-kettle, the radio are.
That’s where the truth lies, in the thoughtless stare at the zigzag of a fly,
the wriggling forelegs on the wallpaper.
There.

PJvR
15-08-96

In 1995 I came into the possession of a book by Marguerite Duras.
It was ‘The Afternoon of Mr Andesmas’.
I had found the literary equivalent of what I was looking for in musical notes.
A book about waiting, a book written in concentrated, angular sentences.
A static piece of literature, intensely consuming, although why is not immediately clear.
I spent the entire summer of 1995, and many hours since, engrossed in books by Duras.

‘Acting, not acting for a short time’ was the first of a series of works inspired by Duras’ writings and her attitude.

PJvR
15-08-2006

“To find oneself in a hamlet, someplace far away in a hamlet, in almost total isolation
and to discover that only authorship will mean salvation. Not to have a single
subject for a book, not to have a single idea for a book, that is the confrontation,
time and again, with a book. An impossible void. A possible book. The
confrontation with nothing. With something like alive and naked writing, almost terrible, terrible to overcome.”
(excerpt from: ‘Writing’ (1993), Marguerite Duras)