The film is commissioned by Film London. Gonda is published as a ciné-roman by Sternberg Press.
Trailer Gonda by Ursula Mayer on Vimeo
Tuesday 26 September
Do you still hear my voice, do you still hear me laughing? I’m still laughing, went swimming this morning, the sea was cold and the air crisp. When I went into the water I could feel every single vein, every hair, the tips of my fingers, … My skin felt as if it was separate from my body, every layer and element aware of its own constitution and quality. It was a sensation of consciousness and I suddenly understood, in all its complexity, the place and course of things. It appeared as an image that I knew inside out. But the sensation didn’t last for long, the image faded and I couldn’t reconstruct it. I gave in to the cold and I drifted with the waves east wards. My senses went numb. I was part of the water and somehow lost awareness of myself.
It made me think of you Dietrich von Esterhazy. So maybe I’m addressing this letter to you? Maybe I even sent it to you. The way we both have this memory of what life should be about. Anyhow when I was young, I could feel myself and I could see an image of myself projected in front of me. You can dream yourself and you have the ability to live that dream, to make it real. You never dreamt Dietrich, you just expected. And as life proceeds the every-day routine takes over and you surrender. The image crumbles, your senses fade and you become part of the environment. You become society. With every conversation you share and give up your own view, your thoughts become common good.
You Dietrich formed the image I’m running from. Now I don’t need to run any longer. I don’t need to play anymore. The image is destroyed by coming to you. You told me it is the only sincere letter you wrote, though it wasn’t real. I proved that to you. You are not better than the image you make for yourself and you never made one. I idealised the letters written to me – they were for me abstract images with no corresponding bodies. I could project onto them, I could create their figure. But I wasn’t able to distinguish their voice from my own.
I guess I will never send you this letter because there is no point in sharing any longer with you or with anybody else. I might change the beginning and write it to myself as if to construct my own persona or to lose myself while in the meantime, become myself.