Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Writer on Holiday

Roland Barthes wrote a nice essay where he decided that writers don't have holidays, because that's when they write (Mythologies 1957). Ian Fleming, there's a good example. Well I'm no Ian Fleming I can tell you but I have been diligently writing away everyday, 9-12.30. That's why there haven't been many posts this time from Berlin. Now I'm fed up with it. It's no surprise, I've got a whole history of architecture and I'm stuck on the last bit, 'The Future'. It's a cop out not to have a go at it, but agony.
So, it's back to AAOH, maybe it will flush me out.
I'm amazed that the records we, or I, play on 'holiday' bare no relation whatsoever to those I play day-to-day at home. Given how cities can be so different to live and work in, this could turn me in to an architectural determinist.  How come I'm not playing 'Kick Start My Heart' and find myself John Martyn's first album instead? Yeah well Berlin is pretty calm, you are surprised that leaving the house to find no threat at all, not even a subliminal threat. Look at the picture above, that's taken in the centre of Berlin, in rush hour (what's that?)
So the holiday records that punctuate are evenings here are gentle things; Mark Knoplers Kill to Get Crimson, and Jackson Brown's Naked Ride Home have it sewn up. Both of those I first heard in a bar down the road, Zweibelfische on Savignyplatz, where, I'm glad to say, the worlds oldest and biggest cat, Zappa, is still snoozing his way though the day.
This while Gaza goes up in flames!? Planes fall out of the sky? It's not right, I feel guilty, no wonder I can't write the bloody future. No wonder writers tear off on to such terrible drunks, every morning is a potential Hemingway morning here. Self control, you are so not kidding. Holiday? Absolutely no way.

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