Wednesday, October 26, 2011

making note of

A lovely, companionable book that I came across recently is Greene on Capri, A Memoirpublished in 2000.  The author is Shirley Hazard.  The Greene is Graham Greene, the marvelous writer, prickly person, and Capri, of course, is the astonishingly beautiful cliff-made island off the coast near Naples Italy.

Shirley Hazard did not make notes of (nor did she tape-record) the conversations she had with Graham Greene. Here is what she says about recall:

Over our years of Capri meetings, I seldom made "notes" after conversation with Graham and Yvonne.  An underlying intention to record changes the nature of things, blighting spontaneity and receptivity: an imposition.  Like the snapping of photographs.  In our appointments diary I sometimes find hieroglyphic reference to the evenings at Gemma, a few words of recall.  One remembers long and well, and without prompting, what is truly interesting--the moments that, pondered, shared, revised, become part of the inward legend.  

(She means by "snapping of photographs" here the substitute activity of looking, not the kind of photographing wherein the photographer/artist shares the life of her subject and, oh, can capture it in a still image so that we can share a bit of the life too [see Sue's wonderful photos in the next blog below here!].  Don't you think so?)  Sketching, for me, feeds my inward legend, my map of significant images.  And you?  How do you recall salient features of people or places that you come across?

sketch while visiting Leelanau

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