A timeless present

As advised by Kathryn, I have started reading Jeanette Winterson’s book: Art Objects. In her book Winterson writes about Woolf, and Kathryn thought I might find it interesting. And I certainly do! But at the moment I’m not only reading Woolf, I’m also reading Gadamer in preparation for some lectures I will be giving. Of course I  did not expect any correlations between Gadamer and Winterson – but see what I found:

In the introduction to her essay Winterson has written

If truth is that which lasts, then art has proved truer than any other human endeavour. What is certain is that pictures and poetry and music are not only marks in time but mark through time, of their own time and ours, not antique or historical, but living as they ever did, exuberantly, untired.

This statement seemed very similar to something I had just read somewhere else. So I went to Mr Gadamer, and here it was:

The creator of a work of art may intend the public of his own time, but the real being of his work is what it is able to say, and this being reaches fundamentally beyond any historical confinement

In this sense, the work of art occupies a timeless present

Hans-Georg Gadamer: “Aesthetics and Hermeneutics”

Unbelievable really, how seemingly very different works can intertwine … and how these unintended connections suddenly become very meaningful.

I am so happy to have a reason to introduce my students not only for hermeneutics, but also for Wintersons beautiful text!

2012: Reading to write

I love to read, but what I really need just now, in the middle of life, is to become a better writer.

To achieve my goal I have chosen the best possible mentor, advisor and guide (no, its not Virgil…I definitively need a more modern supervisor, and I need her to be a woman). My plan is to spend 2012 in companion with Virginia Woolf.

Not only a brilliant author; Woolf was also very clever when talking about the more practical side of things, about how to write, about writing as craft and skill. As readers we can follow her development through her numerous journals and shorter stories.

I have read most of her fictional work before, and even published a shorter piece on The Waves several years ago. But I see that my understanding of her texts changes over time, and will try to reread most of her books in the months to come. And this time, as already mentioned, I am reading it all with the intention of becoming a better writer –

Botticelli: Madonna del Magnificat (1481)
Hm…, I’m rather astonished that I dare tell you this … my only comfort being that I write my texts in Norwegian, so I guess (hope?) most of you, dear blog-readers, can’t really judge my rate off success or failure -