A poet´s needs

This is a very, very short read. I can´t really call it a novel, it´s a short story of 45 pages. Unusually, that´s all there is in this volume by Claudio Magris, "You Will Finally Understand" (sw. "Som ni säkert förstår").

Again, I can´t remember what attracted me to this book, but no doubt I read about it somewhere in a newspaper. It´s a take on the myth of Orfeus and Eurydike, this being a rarely (probably never before) heard version: Eurydikes explanation to the lord of the Underworld, how it happens that she is still there, when he´s given this special and unique permission for her to leave and all. It´s also a muse talking about her artist, her poet. I imagine Magris wants to say something about the way of the artist, and what drives him.

If you think of the ill-fated couple as two youngsters in love, like in the painting on the cover (by C G Kratzenstein-Stub, it hangs at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen), eager to be together once again, this version will present it quite differently. And it makes sense, doesn´t it, that the poet would have romanticised the story? And the painter in his turn?

I like Magris Eurydike, she is also a woman in a traditional role in a traditional marriage. In a way, to a loving wife, aren´t all men poets? And aren´t many men as dependent on their wives as the poet is dependent on his muse? I think any woman who´s lived in a long relationship can relate to Eurydike´s tale.

The ending is a bit of a surprise, which I will not give away. In case you like to read it. I bet it´s at a library near you.

No comments:

Post a Comment