Joris Iven

EIGHT íO CLOCK

 

 

As often as not I have gone and sat down at my writing desk at eight ío clock.

I have switched on the lamp. I have leaned forward over the white sheet

of paper and the words danced before my eyes. As often as not

I have then thought of great exemplary figures. Of Isaak Babel,

for example, who wrote that no iron can pierce a human heart with

such icy cold as the point that is placed at precisely the right

moment. That kind of sentence surfaced in me and I wrote nothing down.

I have wanted to commit myself to everything, though not to a woman,

a house, a form. Then I thought, keep going, donít digress,

donít dawdle. Time has passed quickly since eight ío clock,

when I switched on the lamp and sat down here. I didnít read, or

talk. Who on earth should I talk to alone in this house?

As often as not I have thought that the unspoken word

could accomplish more than the mightiest deed. But no matter how

hard I laboured at it, I have never written a single line

that knew of my existence. Often I have wanted to get up and hand

myself over to life. On one occasion I lacked the courage

to do it, on another occasion I choked back my fear. But I have always

experienced life as being exhausting; not writing.

Just once in a while everything could become clear above a sheet of

paper. For that one instant I have sat for hours at the writing

desk. For each time that I have lived, I have

passed myself by. I looked up and it was eight ío clock.

 

 

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