23 April, 2006

U'mipnay Chato'aynu Galinu May'artzaynu

Today a proud day for the Englishman—we laud patron hero (aptly a third-century Cappadocian tribune) as well as the ortus et interitus of Shakespeare himself—who may or may not have written such masterpieces as Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Comedy of Errors—sticking his nose out of his mummy's belly on April 23 (Julian), and snuffing it on April 23 (Gregorian). Not only that, but more! Ed III founded that great monument of British chivalry, the Order of the Garter—and shame on him who thinks badly of it—658 years ago, and only 38 years ago Betty II brought us bang up to date with base-10 money. 23/4, dies mirabilis!

Sad, then, that I am exiled, here with my wife in the bright, bright land of the barbrous fovs. Gas-prices have shot up like a GI on a landmine, sis-boom-bah! and the grasses outside are withering in the new heat. We just got wireless here and when you hook up it shows you a little atomic orrery, network-electrons orbiting serenely, jumping now and then between their shells, it's magic. You feel like a world unto yourself, all others spinning around you. Nonetheless, there's an odour of desperate, very messy romanticism in the air. I think my composure is breaking down; maybe it was reading trench doggerel or browsing obscene and gestural internet rants. Is the Ciceronian period, or some degenerate English variant thereof, now compacted, now attenuated, with precision and elegance, completely the wrong sort of language to be using at a time like this? I would like to speak with my voice, and I would like to throw my voice, isn't that the goal of all literary writing? But it is a fetter I cannot escape. Thus I experience the desire to lie (mentir) voraciously, as a path to authenticity.

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