Thursday, October 23, 2008

As with so many other things, my mind wanders and comes back to few people that have made a lasting impression on me. I was introduced to Wallace Stevens in several lectures of M. Bartosik, one of the few professors at the VUB that I did not merely like but that I really loved in a way only a pupil can love a professor... an admiration that was deeper than he ever knew or, sadly, could have known.
For weeks before his death I planned to tell him how I felt, how much he had meant to me during my career as a student and how often I thought of his classes or the conversations we had in the hallway, his office or on random occasions and encounters. Conversations that were far too few...
From Wallace Stevens, for Michel...

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night
Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,
Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.
The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.
And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself
Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

Wallace Stevens

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