Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Sunday Commonplace Entry

The entry this week is from Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Rainer Maria Rilke.


March 27, 1926
"You are an objective phenomenon, above all you are talented, you are a genius.  Please underscore this last word.  In daily parlance it is a cheap word, a hairdresser's word.  I am infuriated every time I meet it, as no doubt you are, too.  One of these days it will be thrown at you--or perhaps not.  Be that as it may, it is not a negative hypothetical rating but a positive and inescapable word that hovers above you like a roof in the air, beneath which you ply your alchemy year after year."
"The Main thing is what you are engaged in.  The main thing is that you are building a world crowned by the mystery of genius.  In your time, in your life, this crown, this dome, merges with the sky, the live blue sky above the city where you live, or which you see in your imagination as you ply your alchemy.  At another time other people will walk beneath it and the world will see other epochs.  The soil of the cities is roofed over by the mysterious genius of other centuries." (pp 57-8)

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