Oddly, this week went along. I felt like I was fumbling, drunken, through my days with no sense of the usual arc of a week. Not in a way you'd remark on as unpleasant, just a little unsteady, a little confused. But here we are and it's Friday and I can feel my roots sink deeper — a chance to ground myself once again.
I loved reading this piece about Irish literature's books of the dark. It's something I've always felt - most of all in Beckett. And indeed I see it as more characteristically Irish than the usual twinkling manifestations that are thought of elsewhere.
"Patrick Kavanagh, in his stark poem "Dark Ireland", wrote: "We are a dark people, / Our eyes ever turned / Inward / Watching the liar who twists / The hill-paths awry". In a slant way, he exposes a genre of writing that is concealed in plain sight, what might be called the Irish book of the dark. It comes out of the persistent tendency of Irish writers to occupy the shadows of the mind, often pushing the English language out of shape in the process."
As if to prove the point, I turned to read this by Colum McCann and reached this wonderful line.
"All the stories he wrote walked themselves into the dark."
Though I would also say there's levity in darkness, which is in itself a lovely turn, to allow both to occupy the same space. In all the Beckett productions I've seen, this is a fragile tension that involves not only the players but the audience too. Often, the audience has broken it, by straining too much for the punchlines and not settling into the silence. Next weekend I'm going to see the McKellen / Stewart Godot. I'm hoping to feel the light and the dark.
For now, a happy weekend to you!