Bonehead once bumped into a bodyguarded Beyonce in an Italian resort – he saw the bodyguard first, and thought him “one of those aimless German giants you see in these parts”. i find the streets of K___ quite difficult to navigate at speed, because all Germans are aimless giants – hard to predict and dangerously large. In England i could make my way through a crowd at speed. Very difficult here, but i’m not entirely sure why. In part, i think the Germans are aimless wanderers, unpredictable, but i suspect also i’ve attuned to English crowds and such knowledge is useless here. i’m used to moving in arcs so i don’t have to violently zigzag but can instead thread my way through the press, anticipating knots and occlusions before they become impassible; not possible here – the Germans are alarmed by my course, and a few times i’ve been subject to German curses as i skim past some wandering moustachioed 70s throwback lummox. i suspect they only move in straight lines, can only move in straight lines, so my arcs seem diabolical and probably drunken, and certainly dangerous. Bloody Germans.

They are certainly too big. i’m about 5’6″ (165 cm), so shorter than most Englanders, but i only really felt short here, where the average height, for a man, is about 6′ (180 cm). i regard these enormous oafs with amazement and alarm. It is only a matter of time before there is trouble, mark my words.

i miss reading blogs. i think the only reason i would buy a computer, if i ever had any money, would be to read blogs again. i can happily use email in short bursts, and only blog like this, superficially. Real writing is best done by hand. i felt dissatisfied by my last post; the words don’t quite come close enough, they are too easy, too light. With increasing proficiency comes this danger, of loosing words without substance. The difference between handwriting and typing is subtle but there. Words are difficult; to say something – anything – honestly and well is excruciatingly hard (for me). It is very rare that i say anything well without effort. Words are recalcitrant and unreliable and one should not deny that.

The meretricious ease of a computer seems to take the problem away. But i don’t want a solution here; it is a necessary difficulty, it is only by overcoming the difficulty, through hard work, that i can say what i mean. The difference is evident in the words; where i ‘say what i mean’ the words really say more than i meant, i am surprised by my own words; they do not effortlessly & purely transmit my meaning – they take that vague insistence, that pressure in my mind, and make something i could not have foreseen, something i can read as if by another.

Harold Bloom writes that Shakespeare’s characters overhear themselves speak, and learn from the overhearing – when i write to my own satisfaction it is really as if someone else is writing, even as the words are undeniably, Elberrily mine. When i fail, the words are inert, they are mine and do not surprise, there is nothing there that was not already on offer in my mind. There is, then, absolutely no reason to have written them, since i only write for myself (my great selfishness). i think that ‘the creator’, if he is anything like me, must want that little surprise, so his creation is not the jerky dance of pre-programmed robots, but living, startling, a little unaccountable – always in the present continuous. In a sense, words are like Germans – unpredictable and annoying and heavy, and one should not pretend otherwise.

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