Thursday, May 23, 2002

More Julian Green thoughts

Last night I picked up Julian (or Julien) Green's journal (1928-1939) again. Here are some quotes I was going to post earlier today except that the picture of bluebells in SW England had to be displayed and, of course, properly credited.
I have made four fresh starts on the beginning of my new novel. I feel rather like a mole patiently hollowing out its little tunnel, and suddenly finding itself confronted by a wall. The little creature then goes back and begins all over again, till it finds the right direction (pp. 183-34).
On why he was reluctant to attempt writing a historical novel when he hadn't lived through the experience:
Historical facts are not enough. There are those long hours of boredom, those vain strivings, that restlessness—all those things that fall into eternal oblivion because no one thinks it worth while to note them down (p. 185).
Throughout his journal he writes descriptions of objects and paintings he views at exhibitions and museums, especially the Louvre. For example,
At the Louvre—the Saïtic Egyptian room. There is a capital of a column, in the form of a basket, which is a marvel of delicacy; the bands of the friezes are so lightly sculptured that it seems almost as though a touch of the hand would crumple them....(p. 186)
And on the attention looking at paintings demands:
A Le Nain exhibition in Paris. I went there with two people who were lacking in that serious attitude painting demands, and without which it has nothing to offer you. How many people in a gallery have any idea that a picture is meaningless unless one looks at it for at least five minutes?

No comments: