Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sen o Devětsilu

It's finally come to this. No, not to Jaroslav Anděl's article "Sen o Devětsilu," but I too now dream about Devětsil. This morning I awoke from a dream in which, having just had a tricky time getting lunch onto my tray at a university cafeteria, I sat down with a table full of friends only to be introduced to a guy who had just written three hundred-page papers on Devětsil.
What was his name? Well, I've forgotten that. He's probably an actual person somewhere out in the world who will cross my path someday.
Whatever his name, I was naturally intrigued. Not that many people write about Devětsil, and very few of them are still in school. And, of course, not that many people write papers that are 100 pages long. I only know one of them, and it's not even me.
My new tablemate indicated that he wasn't altogether sure why he had gone off the deep end and written so much about Devětsil. He was offhand about it. It had taken his fancy. The papers were for different classes, so they were similar, but not really the same. He wasn't sure what he was going to write about next; something related. He was thinking about dissertations.
"Surrealism," I said, perhaps jealously.
"Maybe," he said.
His mind didn't seem to be entirely on the conversation; maybe it was on Devětsil or what to write his next paper on. The dream was full of lots of detail about food and who was sitting where. Someone else was saying something about film, something long and interesting that has since gone out of my head.
While the guy in the dream was a present-day student, I had the curious feeling that the spirit of Karel Teige was everywhere.
Perhaps this was because the last things I paid any attention to at the archive yesterday were a couple of letters from Teige. They weren't originals, but on the photocopies, underneath the inked signatures added by the person who made the copies, I could just barely make out the ghost of Teige's own writing telling me that the letters weren't fakes. (I mean, you have to wonder why someone who fought with Teige would keep photocopies of his letters and not, apparently, keep the originals.)
So... Is Teige trying to tell me something? I can tell him right now that I'm not going to revive the debate about Wolker and proletarian poetry.
Maybe Teige just wanted to mastermind the introduction to the guy who likes to write about Devětsil, whoever and wherever he might be. Anyone who writes hundred-page papers, even if not about Devětsil, is Teige's kind of guy.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kristen said...

Methinks you need a day away!

October 26, 2006 1:12 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I was wondering what was wrong with me that I don't dream about my dissertation at all.

October 26, 2006 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Dirk said...

You've been in graduate school too long.

October 27, 2006 2:13 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Don't tell me you never dream about your novels...

October 27, 2006 9:09 AM  

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