There are some curious facts when you write a book. Nobody –even the great Shakespeare, even a casual writer- can write a book from the beginning. I mean when you write a book you know this book will be compared with many other books and this book is part of the great tradition of the literary Humankind.
Words mean nothing
And nothing means words to me.
For the rest of my days
I will try to solve the non-problem.
I would like to create,
To fall and waste,
to fail and call.
So, you can find the signature of Greek tradition in every book that has been written after, and this means… almost all books. You can read Hamlet and you can see the incestuous Oedipus’s shadow. Should Hamlet get the same way than Oedipus pulling out his eyes when he saw the terrible fact? With this argument I don’t want to say that Shakespeare is copying the Greeks, of course not, otherwise the great Shakespeare drunk into the great fun of Greek tradition to offer us a great fun of new tradition for the English Renaissance theatre… and this is just an example of one thousands.
In front of the mirror
I saw my terrible mistake
I saw my face and my mouth.
And I found the solution
To my last question
History of literature drunk and drinks great gulps of History, transforming and making a new interpretation of History, adding imaginary characters maybe more real than the own reality. We can understand Napoleon much better reading War and Peace than reading the words of the emperor in the comments of Machiavelli’s Prince.
‘Somewhere in the Library of Babel
there’s a book talking about you,
containing all the facts with all the meanings,
containing all your ways and words.’
Facts, dates and pieces and pieces of information that, in most of the cases, don’t contribute to create any real figuration about a real character. It’s like the question: is most real the real Alice or Alice beyond the mirror? Some novels, the good ones, creates the real collective imaginary of History and these pieces of Art are in fact real pieces of stories that re-recreate History giving a lasting mark in people.
May a book explain the world?
Of course it cannot
Of course it always does.
It’s the paradox of time:
How can the still and silent time add just one second more?
It’s very simple: just smoke.
Books about books talking about books still not written… I would like to recommend you the reading of Borges’ The Library Of Babel. It’s a little tale, plenty of subtle wisdom.
The always old question
is still unsolved.
Why couldn’t we ask the truth?
Why couldn’t we find us in the past?
Three times, same answer.
And here we are in the middle of the problem. A book based on another book… Shakespeare and the Greeks… Wasn’t J. Joyce the best to develop this idea? Of course there’s another author like Graves investigating these ways, but the most perfect play is Ulysses, using Homer’s old Greek tradition to create the new Dublin tradition present in Ulysses.
I can fix the problem now
What’s the problem, my friend?
The problem was solved centuries ago
And the non-existing problem has gone.
Have you ever thought of a book as a second, tradition as the addition of all seconds, Humankind as a representation of time? Have you ever think of you as a book inside another one? Have you ever think of Hamlet’s problem ‘To be or not to be’ is the dialogue between you and the book? It’s time, just that.
And the problem is still unsolved.