Свен Биркертс цитаты

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Свен Биркертс

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Свен Биркертс – литературный критик и эссеист, автор книг, посвященных литературной критике.


„В середине беседы мы устроили перерыв. Бродский спросил, какое пиво я люблю, и вышел в ближайший магазин. Когда он возвращался, я услышал, как во дворе его окликнул кто-то из соседей: «Как дела, Иосиф? Ты, по-моему, теряешь в весе!» Бродский отозвался: «Не знаю, может быть. Волосы теряю — это точно». И добавил: «И последний ум, кажется, тоже».“ Из интервью с Бродским "Искусство поэзии". Журнал «Paris Review», № 83, 1982 год

„Мне кажется, что язык лежит в основе вашего видения человеческой истории как процесса, который стремительно себя изживает. Вы полагаете, что история вот-вот упрется в некий безвыходный тупик?
— Не исключено. Я вообще не очень склонен разъяснять собственные взгляды. В этом есть какая-то нескромность, как во всякой самооценке. К тому же я не думаю, что человек способен беспристрастно судить о себе и тем более о собственном творчестве. Но в самом общем виде я сказал бы так: меня занимает прежде всего природа Времени. Мне интересно Время само по себе. И что оно делает с человеком. Мы ведь видим в основном это проявление Времени, глубже нам проникнуть не дано.“
из интервью


„I often find that a novel, even a well-written and compelling novel, can become a blur to me soon after I've finished reading it. I recollect perfectly the feeling of reading it, the mood I occupied, but I am less sure about the narrative details. It is almost as if the book were, as Wittgenstein said of his propositions, a ladder to be climbed and then discarded after it has served its purpose.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

„What reading does, ultimately, is keep alive the dangerous and exhilarating idea that a life is not a sequence of lived moments, but a destiny... the time of reading, the time defined by the author's language resonating in the self, is not the world's time, but the soul's. The energies that otherwise tend to stream outward through a thousand channels of distraction are marshaled by the cadences of the prose; they are brought into focus by the fact that it is an ulterior, and entirely new, world that the reader has entered. The free-floating self--the self we diffusely commune with while driving or walking or puttering in the kitchen--is enlisted in the work of bringing the narrative to life. In the process, we are able to shake off the habitual burden of insufficient meaning and flex our deeper natures.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

„Reading, because we control it, is adaptable to our needs and rhythms. We are free to indulge our subjective associative impulse; the term I coin for this is: the slow and meditative possession of a book. We don't just read the words, we dream our lives in their vicinity. The printed page becomes a kind of wrought-iron fence we crawl through, returning, once we have wandered, to the very place we started.“

„Everything in contemporary society discourages interiority. More and more of our exchanges take place via circuits, and in their very nature those interactions are such as to keep us hovering in the virtual now, a place away from ourselves.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

„The books that matter to me... are those that galvanize something inside me. I read books to read myself.“

„If anything has changed about my reading over the years, it is that I value the state a book puts me in more that I value the specific contents.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age


„It is in adolescence that most of us grasp that life--our own life--is a problem to be solved, that a set of personal unknowns must now be factored together with the frightening variables of experience. The future suddenly appears--it is the space upon which the answers will be inscribed.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

„To read, when one does so of one's own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and to set off toward it.“ The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

„I read novels to indulge in a concentrated and directed inner activity that parallels -- and thereby tunes up, accentuates -- my own inner life.“

„... a novel for me is a pretext, a way of starting up and sustaining a complicated and many layered inner exchange, a to-and-fro which I long ago discovered that I need in order to locate myself in the world. Reading... keeps the inner realm open, susceptible. Involvement in a book sets things going at a depth. If I cannot sink into some virtual 'other' place or triangulate my experience with that of another, I feel that my life is lacking the shadows and overtones and illusion of added dimension that imagination provides. It feels flat to me.“ Reading Life: Books for the Ages


„What reading does... is keep alive the dangerous and exhilarating idea that life is not sequenced of lived moments, but a destiny.“

„Sometimes I think that the long-term work of reading is to discover one by one, the books that hold the scattered elements of our nature, after which the true consummation can begin. We undertake the gradual focused exploration, nuance by nuance, of their meanings, their implications; we follow out the strands that mysteriously connect the words of another with the unformulated stuff of the self.“

„We never know, do we, if the future is just more of the present pushed forward, or whether the look and feel, not to mention the fundamental essence of life might not be changing“ Reading Life: Books for the Ages

„Just to see my books, to note their presence, their proximity to other books, fills me with a sense of futurity.“

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