I had hoped to be at the Melbourne Writers Festival today.
I had booked one session for 11:30 AM today: Antoni Jach interviews Erri de Luca. I haven’t read any of Erri de Luca’s works. But his wikipedia bio reveals a particularly interesting story about a writer who doesn’t flinch. Luca writes about real life and the way culture is viewed within it.
If the passage below from the short story called The Trench that was published in the New Yorker is a taste of his writing, then I’ll be reading more of it.
“At midday, between mouthfuls of highly spiced watery soup, we talked for a while in our rudimentary common French, then each returned to his own thoughts in his mother tongue. The other workers called me “Italy,” but I didn’t feel that I belonged to a particular nation. I didn’t support the colours of a jersey or a specific shade of skin, not even my own. I accepted the nickname. “Italy” worked hard and didn’t try to take anyone else’s place, because no one wanted his place. I needed the job. I had found it with difficulty after weeks of pounding pavements on the outskirts of Paris. I had got it, and I wanted to hold on to it, and no damn boss was going to stop me. If he wanted an excuse to get rid of me I wasn’t going to give him one—I would descend to the depths of hell, but I wouldn’t retreat.”
At the same time, so this was always going to be a close call for me, is a session called Voice: Language in Literature. This one’s free and has Australian writer and slam poet of Afro-Caribbean descent Maxine Beneba Clarke, as well as ‘Afropolitan’ novelist NoViolet Bulawayo.
Right now, I’m in bed with a pounding head and ideas that came to me in early morning sleep. The ideas need revisiting, and then, so does sleep.