Off I went. A faceless figure steps out onto the stage and begins telling the story. I can see this figure clearly. I can see the entire story too, although it is far more vague. But I do know what will happen when, who will embody whose features of the book’s characters, which themes will be included and in what order. More or less, more and more.

Perspective – one thing that is the foundation of Pamuk’s novel. The dispute over its legitimacy in how the world is represented. And, going deeply into the metaphor, in how the world is perceived. How does the human perception of things, which makes the things smaller as the distance to them grows, relate to the truth about these things and about mankind; whether that what is near obscures that what is further away, and the things furthest away disappear altogether – is it worth paying attention to what is seen at all – these are the questions.

The spectrum of things moving further away is moving towards red – here is some kind of an answer.

Also, I started working on the second thing I mentioned recently – the flute concerto. At first I could not imagine working on both things in parallel, but I found the key. For the opera, the time horizon is quite distant and the amount of the material to be grasped and kept in focus – rather enormous. This is what I’m working on from early morning to about noon. And in the afternoon, or even in the evening, I change my perspective to a drastically different perspective, a close one. I’m thinking of the concert in sections that last about a minute. I don’t pressure myself to develop long narrative waves. I’m following whims, I would say. This is what the flute feels like to me; the air escapes from the player very fast, much faster than it is the case with any other wind instrument. Actually, it resembles a barely manageable, whimsical swish of air in a two-way open tube. As soon as the sound has barely begun to sound, the player must stop for breath already. Surprisingly, these shifts in perspective are not only doable, but also somewhat invigorating.

Meanwhile, I became a professor. For a short while I wanted to summarize my journey from zero to professor, but I’ll pass on that. In my daily experience, the reverse direction is much more common and real – from hero to zero, over and over. 

With this in mind, back to work.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)