Friday, July 30

the wild duck

GREGERS. Roughly, when do you think the invention will be ready?

HJALMAR. Good Lord, you mustn't ask me about details like dates. An invention is something you can never be completely master of. It's largely a matter of inspiration . . . of intuition . . . and it's pretty nearly impossible to predict when that will come.

GREGERS. But it's making good progress?

HJALMAR. Certainly it's making good progress. Not a day goes by but what I do something on the invention; I'm absorbed in it. Every day after dinner I shut myself up in the living room, where I can concentrate in peace. But it's no good people trying to rush me, that's no good. Relling says the same.

GREGERS. And you don't feel all these things going on in the loft take you away from your work . . . distract you too much?

HJALMAR. No, no. On the contrary. You mustn't get that idea at all. I can't always go on poring over the same old exhausting problems. I've got to have something else as well to keep me occupied. Inspiration, revelation, you know --- when it comes, it comes, that's all.

GREGERS. My dear Hjalmar, I almost believe you've a bit of the wild duck about you.

HJALMAR. The wild duck? How do you make that out?

GREGERS. You have gone plunging down and bitten fast to the weeds.

-- Henrik Ibsen The Wild Duck