woensdag 24 september 2014

Anaïs Nin -- 25 september 1944

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) was een Franse schrijfster, die vooral bekend is vanwege haar dagboeken.

[September, 1944]
The physical as a symbol of the spiritual world. The people who keep old rags, old useless objects, who hoard, accumulate: are they also keepers and hoarders of old ideas, useless information, lovers of the past only, even in its form of detritus? I suggested that in the ragpicker story. But I was never able to corroborate it. Helba is the only hoarder I know, and she of course ceased to grow early in her life.
I have the opposite obsession. In order to change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one's mind and psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use. I keep nothing to remind me of the passage of time, deterioration, loss, shriveling.

Zilka's book had to be reprinted because Gonzalo took it to a "French" friend to proofread and this person did not know French! Zilka was deeply upset. I gave up rest and beach and returned to do the job again. Struggle to keep the press afloat. While I am working the electric company comes to turn off the electricity, and I have to pay the bill instantly. I work from ten to six o'clock, and Gonzalo from two to six.

A frightening episode. A man carrying some kind of badge, and papers as a special kind of guard, came to teil us we must pay him to be a night watchman of the press. He wou ld put a sign on the door which would show everyone that he patrolled the district and kept an eye on the press. He said every shop in the neigh-borhood employed him, and that without him there would be burglarizing, etc. Gonzalo protested there was nothing worth stealing. "Who would steal a half-printed book, paper, type, or even engravings?" He argued. The man left. The next morning when I arrived, the picture window in front was shattered. The glass was scattered outside and inside. Anyone could have entered the press. I feit uneasy, as if there were some connection between the refusal to have a watchman and the breaking of the glass. When Gonzalo came, he was disturbed. We replaced the glass. The watchman called on us three days later. He said he had heard that we had had some trouble. This time Gonzalo explained that we were artists, not shopkeepers, that we had very little money to work with, that in fact we were in debt because we were still pay-ing for a press, we owed the telephone company and the electric company, and the last job was not yet paid for.
Two days later, the window was broken again. This time we were desperate. We knew it was blackmail, but there was no way to defend ourselves. That night when Gonzalo went home, he was so depressed he stopped at the bar on the street floor of his building. And there was the watchman, in a friendly mood. He and Gonzalo drank together. They agreed on political questions. They fraternized. We were not bothered by him again. He even stamped his sign: "This place is patrolled by So-and-So" (some title he had invented for himself, I am sure).

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