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Sleeping with ghosts

In Books, Life, Music on June 10, 2007 by Pino

I was exceptionally considering a novel, À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time), instead of a song to name this post after. If you had, like me, French literature at school or if you like to read something more boring than Толстой (Tolstoj), you probably know about this (seven volume’s) novel by Proust, in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine with tea (involuntary memory)

Elle envoya chercher un de ces gâteaux courts et dodus appelés Petites Madeleines qui semblent avoir été moulés dans la valve rainurée d’une coquille de Saint-Jacques. Et bientôt, machinalement, accablé par la morne journée et la perspective d’un triste lendemain, je portai à mes lèvres une cuillerée du thé où j’avais laissé s’amollir un morceau de madeleine. Mais à l’instant même où la gorgée mêlée des miettes du gâteau toucha mon palais, je tressaillis, attentif à ce qui se passait d’extraordinaire en moi. Un plaisir délicieux m’avait envahi, isolé, sans la notion de sa cause. Il m’avait aussitôt rendu les vicissitudes de la vie indifférentes, ses désastres inoffensifs, sa brièveté illusoire, de la même façon qu’opère l’amour, en me remplissant d’une essence précieuse: ou plutôt cette essence n’était pas en moi, elle était moi.

Luckily, I remembered quite soon that one of the best records by Placebo explains, more or less, the same concept related to the people who marked our lives

I’m quite used to those kind of sensations, especially when I listen to songs or when I look at pictures: the involuntary memory is the taste of my life. However, last week I experienced them in a more intense way.
Everything began, obviously, with a song I didn’t even listen to: last Sunday I was having breakfast with Erik & Jörg and we were listening to the new album of Sophie Ellis-Bextor (quite nice, btw) when another song of hers, Murder on a Dancefloor, jumped in my mind. When I was for the first time in Berlin, visiting Jens, we always watched MTV in the morning and, since the clip rotation is not really various on those kind of channels, we always managed to watch the funny video of that song which could be somehow considered ours.
It was such a nice time. I could even remember his skin’s scent, one of the things I always appreciated in him. Sometimes I still miss Jens, probably more what he represented to me, than himself.
On top of this I saw yesterday his ambulance when I had my brunch with Isabelle, Yosephine and Daniel (it’s not my fault if the best brunch place in Berlin is just 100 m distant from his home).
A couple of days ago even Jean-François wrote me: he’s thinking of me anytime he sees a mac (and considering that he owns 2 of them he should think of me quite often). Another involuntary memory…
Actually, memories are the most intense things I ever feel.
During the Tori Amos’ concert I was remembering the time when I listened to her songs the most. It was between 2000 and 2001, the last year I had classes at the college, when I officially met ilGrisa. I saw myself on the train to Genova, where I spent a lot of time because of Emanuele, listening to Tear in Your Hand… and I wished I could travel back in time to say myself that everything will be fine…

One Response to “Sleeping with ghosts”

  1. Ahhh adesso ho capito perché mi prendevi in giro sulla traduzione di “pilgrim’s shell” … bhe non avevo letto il francese quindi non avevo notato che nell’originale ci fosse scritto “conchiglia di saint jacques”.

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