I exist, feel and want – De Groene Amsterdammer

Amy Copman in the Travel Series canada paradise 2020

© Hans Pool / VPRO

An embarrassing side effect of falling in love It is the inability to express your feelings credibly to a third party, no matter how eloquent you are, no matter how generous the audience is. How many times have you felt the growing desperation in a group of friends when someone else fell in love and madly tried to explain why? Why it? How many times did I not go there myself? I am seriously looking for a favorable image of him, and I assure girlfriends / relatives / random girls in the bathroom that he is much more beautiful on a personal level, you know, and he loves poetry / Marxism / rock, but not in a bad way, I promise.

A story like this always falls on deaf ears because infatuation, so much more than love, is simply untranslatable. Untranslatability is a feeling of loneliness that is hard for us to accept. For example, even though we know better, against all the laws of a good story, we still tell our friends how much we liked we dreamed last night, no matter how much they looked at us from the glass. Thus, even the writer risks that the feeling that made a deep impression on her does not make a deep impression on the reader.

in biography Signs of the Universe: A Report on an Obsession Amy Coopman describes an impossible one-sided fascination with French-Canadian fixer A. She meets him while filming for the travel series canada paradise He becomes fascinated by some extraordinary occasional similarity with her, and then ends up with him in a hotel room during a snowstorm. They both have a partner at home, so it’s just a hint and a chaste hug, but Emy’s sold out.

Her infatuation grows into a long-lasting pain that she tries to cure not with actions but with words, by calling A, by playing open cards in long conversations with her strong and reliable friend Johannes, by forming a complex friendship with her wonderful younger boyfriend. Charlotte, by diving into books about infatuation, eroticism, and women and men, scours the internet, researching her past to investigate past relationships. She does not touch him.

Copeman puts her infatuation in an intellectual tradition

She explains her wishes with the deep earnestness and agonizingly slow meticulousness of a pathologist who was tasked with preparing a cell-by-cell sample and placing it under the lens. Patience for this exercise can only be mustered by someone who stoops heels in love, that’s so obvious, and yet impossible to fall in love with A with her, a man who barely shows a glimpse of his personality, and obviously doesn’t feel the same way about her.

he doesn’t like you, That’s what you’d like to say to your girlfriend who spent hours at the bar trying to explain this relationship, and why would she even bother? Who is this man exactly?

The fact that he remains invisible should not be a problem in and of itself. A isn’t an unnamed character for nothing, so this date is a lot like a self-examination anyway. Emy takes center stage and we have to understand admiration as something that happens inside of her and not towards him. She alone remains as elusive as “A,” not because of a lack of words but out of a desire to put her crush into an intellectual tradition. The book is full of references to Bataille, Zweig, Dante, Doré, Levinas, Fibonacci, Barthes, De Beauvoir, Shakespeare, Coetzee, Abramović, Dworkin, Huizinga, Ovidius, Volf, Foster Wallace, Rothko, Scorsese, and anyone who might be able to hold onto something. Show. These references are not just a glimpse into the writer’s mind, but also a way to distance ourselves from the heart of the matter, the sensual, that fascination itself.

It’s a distance without poison and no sarcasm, no mockery, but then what? Just afraid of looking weak? This is a common tendency among intelligent women, a tendency that Koopman himself eventually mentions, to rebel against the stereotype of emotional, irrational, weepy, vulnerable women by building a wall of thought around you. This way you can show that you are not in love like a teenage girl, but that you are smarter in love, like a writer. This results in interesting currents of thought, about the woman as an involuntary seduction or willing victim, about bestiality in the man, about monogamy as a lack of freedom or liberty, but it remains a theory, and even memories of her childhood are material to consider. And so Emy gets less transparent with each chapter instead of more, and in the end we don’t know her better than the unknown love object.

Koopman yearns to be honest and vulnerable, and that’s what she assures the reader of. She sings to those whom she considers the most vulnerable, contemporary representatives of love poetry: pop musicians, “who are exempt from the requirements of rationality, and who are allowed to plunge into eternal romance”, those who can truly surrender. We can’t all stand it, she knows it. So why then do we try to capture surrender, to put love into words? She writes: “I exist, I feel, I will, and I refuse to be silent about it!” Perhaps this is sufficient reason.

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