I'm running out of steam for the week, but I've been thinking about Ted Hughes' theory that all art originates from a wound in the artist. He does a better job of 'esplaining it. But Rilke certainly will do.
I heard from a friend today in Prague (he's been living with his wife Vera in an apartment in Prague Castle that Václav Havel arranged for them. It didn't even faze me - of course, you're living in the Castle. I'd already heard but didn't want to spoil his moment.) He is a novelist & filmmaker & friend of perv Milan Kundera. When The Unbearable Lightness of Being was released as book (& then as film later), I asked Arnošt. Well? "Exactly, exactly how it was. That bastard, he did it!" Then he picked me up & whirled me around the room.
It was/is a tight circle of friends/frenemies & a highly competitive bunch, of course: writers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, journos, etc. They supported the "wrong" person in 1968 & were invited to leave. Kundera's success spurred them all on (including director Miloš Forman). I hope someone writes a book about this gang of devils. (There are more.)
Arnošt & Vera lent me 'the borrowed flat' in Jerusalem for many weekends. They sat with me in the - I am not kidding - Elizabeth Taylor Cafeteria...or maybe it was the Frank Sinatra cafeteria (there were two) & tried to make me laugh. One time I got in a car with them. Only once. I was in the back seat with an old friend who then lived in Israel. He started to laugh hysterically...maybe it was the idea of the two of us tootling around the city with our friend--who should never drive (do you hear me, A?) anywhere. Ever. I accessed my "if I go, I go" attitude used to good effect in Greek & Italian taxis. Anyway, those wild & crazy Czechs, they lent me the flat for which I'll be eternally grateful. Now I want to stay at Prague Castle.
Here's to brave people - who, amazingly, miraculously laugh (with a large side of irony). And take it all the way to the end.
[two stills from Unbearable Lightness of Being, still photographer-genius Phil Bray; the "real" iconic photograph via filmwell(dot)org]