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On The Joy of Writing

My friend Sage has made the acquaintance of an extraordinary woman doc in Montreal.  They all love reading, and Danielle sent along this lovely quote from a letter Gustave Flaubert wrote to a friend while he, Flaubert, was writing MADAM BOVARY.

 

« Aujourd’hui (…), homme et femme tout ensemble, amant et maîtresse à la fois, je me suis promené à cheval dans une forêt, par un après-midi d’automne, sous des feuilles jaunes, et j’étais les chevaux, les feuilles, le vent, les paroles qu’ils disaient et le soleil rouge qui faisait s’entre-fermer leurs paupières noyées d’amour. (…) C’est une délicieuse chose que d’écrire! que de ne plus être soi, mais de circuler dans toute la création dont on parle. »

 

Here is the translation —

“Today (…), man and woman both, lover and mistress all at once, I went riding in a forest, on an autumn afternoon, under yellow leaves, and I was the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words they were speaking and the red sun half closing their love-filled eyes. (…) What a delicious thing writing is! To no longer be yourself, but to flow throughout your creation.”

 

I could never express it so movingly or beautifully, but that’s what I feel when the writing it going well.  There are two other places where I feel that sense of onenes — riding high level dressage when I feel I have become a centaur, and singing when I feel like I am music and words.

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