The Noise of Time - Julian Barnes. 그리고 아무말도 하지 않았다.


... He found himself reflecting on questions of honesty. Personal honesty, artistic honesty. How they were connected, if indeed they were. And how much of this virtue anyone had, and how long that store would last.

... In a novel, all his life's anxieties, his mixture of strength and weakness, his potential for hysteria- all would have been swirled away in a vortex of love leading to the blissful calm of marriage. But one of life's many disappointments was that it was never a novel, no by Maupassant or anyone else. Well, perhaps a short satirical tale by Gogol.

... 'The engineers of human souls'. There were two main problems. The first was that many people did not want their souls to be engineered, thank you very much. They were content with their souls being left as they were when they had come into this world; and when you tried to lead them, they resisted. Come to this free open-air concert, comrade. Oh, we really think you should attend. Yes, of course, it is voluntary, but it might be a mistake if you didn't show your face... 

And the second problem with engineering human souls was more basic. It was this: who engineers the engineers?

... Who could tell what the future would believe? We expect too much of the future - hoping that it will quarrel with the present.

... This was not a bad way to exist; but he doubted he had the strength for silence.

... He knew how people liked to melodramatise their early lives, and to obsess retrospectively about choices and decisions which at the time they had made unthinkingly. He also knew that Destiny was only the words And so.

... and who's to say what would have been for the best? You only found out afterwards, when it was too late.

... All his life he had relied on irony. He imagined that the trait had been born in the usual place: in the gap between how we imagine, or suppose, or hope life will turn out, and the way it actually does. So irony becomes a defence of the self and the soul; it lets you breathe on a day-to-day basis.

... - he did not specify what exactly belonged to God and what to Caesar - this was not a line he could repeat himself. "Render unto art that which is art's"?

... Art is the whisper of history, heard above the noise of time.

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시대의 소음 속에 살던 쇼스타코비치가 '시저의 것은 시저에게' 주기 위해 견뎌내야 했던 무게들을 그린 책. (그리고 그는 예수가 아니기에 그것을 힘겨워하고, 영웅이 되는 것보다 겁쟁이가 되는 것이 더 어려운 이유를 설득한다.)

시대와 권력이 요구하는 양상에 예술가적인, 또 인간적인 고민을 하면서 그가 지키고자 했던 것은 '소음' 외의 것이었고, 그러기 위해서 그는 아이러니로 점철된 삶을 살아야 했던 것 같다. 좋아하던 체호프를 공개적으로 비난하고, 솔제니친을 부정해야 했던 그는 (줄리언 반스의 목소리를 빌어) 외부에서 공산주의를 옹호하는 피카소와 사르트르를 냉소한다. -How easy it was to be a Communist when you weren’t living under Communism. (-그들은 그토록 자유를 외치던 예술가/작가였으니, 그 모든게 얼마나 아이러니한지.)

후세대는 쇼스타코비치를 타협한 기회주의자로 기억하기도 하지만, 힘없는 예술가의 끝없는 번민을 그려내고 있는 책을 읽다보면 '그럴 수도 있겠구나.'하는 이해심이 생기는 것 같다. -이것이 이 책이 지닌 큰 힘이라고 생각한다. 그를 대놓고 추앙하거나 변호하지 않고, 그저 그의 행동을 '그럴 수도 있었겠구나.' 라는 시선으로 바라볼 수 있게 이끄는 것.

스탈린 사후에도 살아있는 것에 대한 무게감을 느끼던 예술가. 어쩐지 '바람, 어디에서 부는지'가 떠올랐다.





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