Monday, October 29, 2007

Robert Dessaix: Why Whiling Away Your Life is So Important

In his novel Corfu, writer Robert Dessaix has this to say about spending time being or pottering about:

“What is so seductive about this chronicle of a year in Molyvos—especially for a reader setting out in the sun, as I was, on a bend in the road in Gastouri, just the odd cat stirring, old Spiros with his walking-cane grunting and greeting as he hobbles past—is that it dawns on you as you read why whiling away your life in an insignificant Greek village is so life-enhancing for many foreigners—at least at first; here, magically, everything matters all of a sudden—a broken flowerpot, the priest’s wife’s gossip, your neighbour’s sprained ankle, the beauty of the mountains against the molten evening sky, a funeral, a drowning, fried sardines with friends down by the water… and also doesn’t matter.”

Robert Dessaix, Corfu (A Novel) (London: Scribner, 2001), 251.

Image: Molyvos at sunset.