Reflections on Lightness, Light Poems, Kundera, Chicago, Genesis, My Brother, My Cousin Shruti, Her Family, and Baseball

Ending in the lightness it seems bent on discussing, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a book I have very mixed emotions about. Drawn to it Kundera's views on lightness, Nietzsche's Eternal Return, and of course by the idea of reading a 'Novel of Ideas', I felt incredibly underwhelmed by every piece that did not deal directly with Kundera's narrator and the ideas coming back.

The idea of writing a novel and telling the reader that you're only telling a story because it fits your ideas is a fascinating one, but if felt like nothing new to me. It felt incredibly post modern to me in that its gaze is back upon its self. Not really a mirror, but watching a video or seeing a photograph of yourself. I also did enjoy that Kundera doesn't mind telling the reader these things. The novel feels like it could easily include the phrase, "Let me give you an example..." before going off about Tomas and Tereza, et. al.

I am still thinking about (and will write about further) how it seems that while nothing can ever happen again, in the world of a reader and in the world of the book, there are multiple repetitions of events. Right now, I feel that the idea that nothing can happen again is moot because it can always happen again to the person who lived it, watched it, read it, etc. Sure the Braves 1991 season occurred only once, but in video and memory, we can live it again. Granted, it can't be the exact moment of time again, but it never really goes away, not even necessarily when we do.

So I took a notebook with me to Chicago, not intending to fill it with new poems by any means, but at least to write something down over the course of three days away from Iowa City. I wrote one poem, and to me, it doesn't necessarily exhibit what I have been wanting to do, but I felt like I'd taken something away from my quest for light poems. I think perhaps I'm done with the tiny/light poem phase, but hope that I've learned something from it.

The lightness of Kundera, Calvino, etc. is not my lightness. It is the lightness of wit and manner, not necessarily of style. I wanted lightness of form, not lightness of context. I want a lightness of words and not humor.


In Chicago, I saw my brother who has recently moved from Atlanta to Cincinnati. He seems do be doing well, but with more flecks of gray in his hair. We saw Genesis on Thursday night, which was an amazing show. The crowd was really into it and the band was too. The thing I loved the most was that there were only a few songs between us that we could think of that they didn't play. Other than that, Genesis played all of their hits, early 70s through early 90s.


We went to my cousin's house and saw her new baby. We went to dinner with her and her husband as well as my aunt and uncle. We spent a little while at my Uncle's condo in Skokie also. He seemed to be very happy to have us to talk with.


Chicago was quiet on the baseball front while I was around. They were excited Thursday evening at the possibility of winning. Alas, it was not to be.


Matthew Henriksen said...

Alas, alas, alas, always alas and never at last.

Amish Trivedi said...

99 is for losers, anyways. 100 will be awesome!

So long as they don't get in the Braves' way (though the Braves need no help with that)