That book by Michal Viewegh was damned good. I kept reading it till 3 am, only to resume as soon as I opened my eyes this morning. It is not exactly the type of a book that would require a place behind the little glass door of my corner bookcase. It may stand right in the middle of the bookshelf containing my best literature. His main topic is not sex as such, although the bulk of the text is made of various erotic adventures; it is all about human condition and the use we make of our earthly bodies. It intertwines depth and humour, and human warmth.
It made me muse on the use I've been making of my earthly body. I could live just as the writer depicted by Veiwegh. But perhaps I don't have his main reason of doing so. My solitude is not a burden to me, I never return to an empty flat. The very space is enveloping me, my body, my female existence of incessant adventure that goes on and on and on, inside. On icebreakers approaching the coast of Iceland, in a geography that is, at the same time, imaginary and real.
Yet overall, I don't have that love of reality that characterises the Czech writer, and Czech literature in general. Only the sense of humour is familiar to me. That constant surprise with the unfathomable depth of our existence, its absurdity that is taken lightly, not as the main tragedy of us. Although it certainly is.
I'm too serious to take my body and my solitude lightly, going from one casual encounter to another, just as Veiwegh's hero does. The actual temptation that I could never resist is some sort of mystical venture of eroticism. And the idea is tempting me, when I think of Paris, when I think of that greater world of western Europe, its cities of men. Veiwegh is provincial, as Czech literature always is, and ready to accept that littleness, that Marushka who makes herself so memorable by her unfashionable light blue coat and her denial.
My erotic dreams are unavailable, beyond any chance of fulfilment. Are they? Or perhaps they are among those crazy aspirations, like Oxford, and great intellectual achievements. Whatever is the final outcome, may I come triumphant or vanquished from this war, they motivate me, they make me active, they make a Pole star over my horizon to keep my life going. I go to Paris this year not to add an item to my CV, but in search of that greater life, of which I couldn't abdicate, even if I see it as the craziest of hopes. Otherwise, I would be broken and burned out, frustrated with the very bulk of my academic career, vanquished by my approaching 50th anniversary. But it surprises me that I utterly feel so attractive. That I see, and see increasing, the reason why I should be chosen among thousands of other women. The pages falling one by one like in a haiku only fill me with the sweetness of the approaching autumn. Strangely, it is in my calendar the great time of love, the month of May of Provencal troubadours. The taste of a November in Amsterdam. Well, it will be a November in Paris, this year.