Frehel Diaries: A Brief History of My Calamities
The following is transcribed from my journal. I wrote this while I was sitting up on the bluff with some details added on to the end of the entry.
Writing and suffering are inextricably linked. Although some consider Marcus Aurelius to be the first author of an autobiography, as Thomas Cahill correctly pointed out in....it’s so devoid of personal details, so general, that it is barely in the realm of autobiography. St. Augustine included more personal details not only about himself, but about at least some of the people around him (while he neglected to even name his mistress, the mother of his child, he provided ample details about the character of his mother, Monica, as well as some others he encountered on his path like Bishop Ambrose and the Manichean Faustus).
Still the form vanished until a young teacher appeared in Paris. He was assigned a lovely young charge and soon his love songs to her were being repeated in the streets of Paris. He got her pregnant and although he secretly married her, her father didn’t approve and had him forcibly castrated. He became a monk and she became nun although she never stopped loving him. Later, this Frenchman, Abelard, penned what could really be considered one of the first true autobiographies “A History Of My Calamities.” Unlike previous "autobiographies", which were intended to examples for the average reader to connect with, even the title of this work asserts the unique nature of Abelard’s experience. Furthermore, Abelard, unlike Augustine and Aurelius whose goals were more lofty in terms of saving their audience, wanted to create his experience in the heart’s of the readers. Simply it was the first tell all autobiography.
My entire library is filled with the works of authors whose suffering is almost as famous as their work: Sylvia Plath, Elie Wiesel, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
I often joke that if you come with me on a trip you will return with a great story. That doesn't mean you had a good time. In fact, often it is the reverse. In order to have a good story you need drama, tension, conflict. None of these elements usually lead to a "good time." And yet I seem to have a knack for finding drama and not happiness. I can't entirely blame the Sauvage for what has come to pass, after all I knew this was a risk at the beginning. And so I try to comfort myself with the idea that when I return to the States I will have, at the very least, one of the worst break up stories of all time.
I sit and look out at the ocean and feel better, despite everything. Finally the Sauvage sends Nana to come get me. It's time to go home. I climb down, but he doesn't want to leave right away. Apparently he either wants me to know "who is boss" or he is continuing his utter disregard for my comfort. Instead of waiting for him, I start to walk towards the car. I've had it with trailing behind these two. He and Nana pack up their stuff and eventually follow me. For the first time, I beat them to the car.
It's a small victory, but I'll take it.
Bad Bunni posted at 5/27/2008 10:04:00 AM