viernes, 28 de octubre de 2016

The Journal of Jules Renard

"The Journal of Jules Renard," edited and translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget, New York: TinHouse Books, 2008.

Algunos de los pensamientos de Renard, ligeramente ordenados.

On writing

"Talent is a question of quantity. Talent does not write one page: it writes three hundred. No novel exists which an ordinary intelligence could no conceive; there is no sentence, no matter how lovely, that a beginner could not construct. What remains is to pick up the pen, to rule the paper, patiently to fill it up. The strong do not hesitate. They settle down, they sweat, they go on to the end. They exhaust the ink, they use up the paper. This is the only difference between men of talent and cowards who will never make a start. In literature, there are only oxen. The biggest ones are the geniuses—the ones who toll eighteen hours a day without tiring. Fame is a constant effort." 

"To lie watching one's mind, pen raised, ready to spear the smallest thought that may come out."

"Style. I always stop at the brink of what will not be true."

"Every moment my pen drops because I tell myself: 'What I am writing here is not true'."

"Inspiration is perhaps only the joy of writing; it does not precede writing."

"Weep! But no one of your tears must reach the tip of your pen and mix itself with your ink."

"A beautiful line of verse has twelve feet, and two wings."

"Put a little moon into what you write." 

"To take notes is to play the scales of literature."

"The hours when we should write nothing but music."

"There cannot be on the one side form, and on the other, matter. A bad style is an imperfect thought."

"Your page on autumn must give as much pleasure as a walk through fallen leaves."

"I want to create a style for myself as clear to the eyes as a spring morning."

"Never having as yet observed anything, he loved the grand and the emphatic."

"Most men have seen approximately the same things, but only the artist know how to recall them to his memory."

Metaphors / Similes 

"A bird enveloped in mist, as though bringing with it fragments of cloud torn with its beak." 

"Sea foam. The tide seems to burst, like a muffled, distant explosion of which we should be seeing only the smoke."

"The spider glides on an invisible thread as though it were swimming in the air." 

"A lightweight moon, as though made out of a piece of white cloud."

"The reconciliation of two friends. Suddenly, the heart, which was dry, hard and shrivelled, softens and expands, as though it had fallen into pure water."

"When I returned to the country, the morning greeted me with the song of larks sparkling in the air like flames at the ends of tall candles."

"I am like a house that, not being able to change its place, would open its windows in order to fill itself with the unknown; but nothing enters, and meanwhile the house has lost its intimacy."

"Unsightly as a piece of paper in a meadow."

"The wind claps in the night like a black sheet."

"She is affected; each one of her words seems to have been rolled in flour."

"To dream is to think by moonlight, by the light of an inner moon."

"Rapid as the thought of a zebra."

"The shepherd with his sheep looks like a church with its village."

Some images

"The moon spreads winter. All the cold falls from this moon that glitters in the sky like a piece of ice."

"The moon spreads a fine, even snow over the roofs."

"The houses look into the street through their open, illuminated doors. All the light comes out into the street."

"The vitality of the cat, who appears so lazy. His ears and his eyes are always at work. He has within him prepared leaps, and, under him, ready claws."

"The village under the moonlight like furniture under its dustcover."

"One can well believe that the eyes of the newborn, those eyes that do not see and into which one finds it difficult to look, contain a little of the abyss from which they come."

"The tree has never been able to make its shadow circle it completely." 

"The cat asleep, well buttoned into its fur."

"Night settles into the woods. It will spend the day there."

"Nature quivers at being painted by a young girl."

"The lips of the water sucking the ice."

"The silky sound of the reeds."

"The bat always seems to be flying within four walls."

"The woman had loved so much that when you drew close to her you could hear, in the delicate shell of her ear, the far-off rumor of love."

"A tree drops a leaf on my shoulder and goes back to dreaming."

"Snow on water: silence upon silence."

"The security of a new shoelace."

"The sudden naturalness of an actor when, during a rehearsal, he interrupts himself to speak to the prompter."


"When he drinks with a couple, he always pays, so that people may believe he is the lover."

"It is at the cost of all my anguish that I give to other an impression of perfect security." 

"The death of my father makes me feel as though I had written a beautiful book." 

"There is nothing like a disciple to show us our faults." 

"I have an anti-clerical mind and the heart of a monk."

"Not the smallest charm of truth is that it scandalizes."

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