Viggo News

Viggo-Works > Viggo News
Top of this page

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

26 April 2020 11:50:48
Categories: Quotable Viggo


One thing I share with Viggo is lifelong notebook keeping – not a diary, but books full of bits and pieces that interest me, quotes I’ve found, notes on things I’ve read, nature notes, experiences, things I’ve learned. It goes on and on. There is a whole shelf full. With loads of lockdown time I’ve been reading right through them for the first time and wondering – is Viggo doing the same?



© Focus Features


Before becoming an actor, he was a published poet, and he still carries a notebook wherever he goes 'just in case a moment presents itself to be stolen.'

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
Esquire
March 2006




Viggo extracts a big moleskin notebook from his backpack, like a naturalist's notebook, a logbook, in which he notes down his thoughts and everything that passes through his mind with a big, tangled handwriting like the rigging of a schooner.

River Mortensen
By Ramón Raboiras - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire
September 2012




The backpack also contained a couple of journals, two screenplays, my passport, and two half-read books. The hardest losses were the stories and poems in the notebooks. I had been looking forward, in particular, to reviewing and fine-tuning hundreds of pages of, for me, uncharacteristically long and unguarded poetry that had been written during a series of very quiet nights spent in the Sahara Desert in late 2002. During that time, for various reasons, I had begun writing extended pieces using a lot of abstract imagery and fragmented recollections from my childhood, combined with the rush of sensory impressions I was receiving while living and working in Morocco. The thick white pages of the notebooks from that time were grimy, stained red from the dust near Ouarzazate, yellow from Erfoud and Merzouga, brown and gray from my hands and the ashes of campfires and cigarettes, dogeared, black with grease. They held sandstorms, camel gargles, vultures, Arabic songs, calls to prayer, prayer rugs, tea, coffee, tent flaps. They reeked of diesel, were alive with flies, fossils, heat waves, goats, soldiers, scorpions, unseen women, donkeys, date palms, doves, hawks, vipers, new or decaying gardens, graveyards, city walls, mosques, stables, wells, fortresses, and schools. This was the start of a long-overdue cataloging of buried memories of plants and their names, horses, car accidents, lightning, pet lizards, parts of arguments between my parents, ifinesses, sheep; of fish caught, lost, released, cleaned, cooked, spied in rivers, ponds, lakes, eaten, rotting, struggling, dying, or dead. In those notebooks could be found faces of teachers I've had, of policemen, children, and old people suffering, giggling, sleeping, or otherwise lingering in emergency rooms, bus stations, on street corners, walking or standing on traces of roads or tracks through harsh deserts, prairies, icescapes, or urban wastelands. Here were all the toy soldiers, ineffective windshield wipers, first tastes of chocolate, wine, asparagus, venison, trout, chalk, ants, a Big Mac, dirt, dandelion stem, unsweetened yerba maté, duck, beer, snow, blood...

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004




Patches of recorded feeling vanished, irretrievable. There is no point in trying to remember and rebuild the word houses, word hills, word dams, or word skeletons like some sort of archeology project. There may be pieces I recall or inadvertently retell, but every word will be new, will go somewhere, will die no matter what I might do to tame or hold it.

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004




We meet at a coffee house in Santa Monica, where he's already upstairs with a glass of iced coffee and a notebook. Beside him rests a box, overflowing with sheets of rumpled paper and picture frames, much like one would find in an attic, or on the neglected shelves of Christmas decorations (his manager had asked me if he could make a contribution to the magazine, to which I gave an unqualified "yes").

"I don't know what you're looking for," he says, "but I brought a few things to show you."

Viggo's Box
By Craig Clevenger
Fond Affexxions #5, Winter Thaw 1995




And Viggo Mortensen pulls a notebook from his bag. The poets look at it. Because poets always look. And they see. At the table are Fabián Casas, Damian Ríos and Gabriela Bejerman, three of the 22 Argentine poets in the Anthology of New Argentine Poetry, the brand new book from Perceval Press, Viggo Mortensen's publishing house... "There it is; it's called 'Matinee'," he says. And he reads it.

Viggo Mortensen: "Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Zooey
Gente
25 August 2009




Never without his camera, he snapped away at branches, sky, ice and snow while he talked, stopping only to ask a question, write something in his journal or point out deer tracks and places where beavers had gnawed through trees. Nearly every step seemed to elicit a memory, of some youthful mischief with a friend, a favored fishing or skiing spot from years ago, a conversation with a former neighbor.

Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers: A Walk Down Memory Lane (Literally) with the Photographer, Poet and Actor
Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University, Canton NY February 2003




He'd visited the Freud museum in Hampstead before, but for the purposes of our interview we were allowed behind the velvet ropes and into Freud's study, right next to the famous couch. Viggo was clearly unsettled by such close contact with Freud's personal artefacts, and affected some shivers of recognition as he pored over Freud's notebook which sits on his desk, a pair of fold-up pince-nez placed neatly beside it.

Viggo's Freudian Slip
By Jason Solomons
The Observer
5 February 2012




I spent a lot of time and effort in the following weeks scouring my part of town, looking through trash cans and alleyways, offering no-questions-asked rewards, doing anything I could think of to find what was irreplaceable for me and probably completely useless to whoever had stolen it. Finally, I let most of it go, knowing I would never be able to recreate what had been written far from home in that exhausted but uniquely productive state of mind.

Viggo Mortensen on his lost notebooks
Introduction to Best American Non-Required Reading
Houghton Mifflin, 2004




"To me the movies that I'm in or a painting or a drawing or a poem that I've made, a photograph, they are all journals in a way, a living diary," said Mortensen. "Everything's about that, valuing what's been and where I am now based on the accumulation of those experiences."

Viggo Mortensen On 'The Road' And The Importance Of Human Connections
By Todd Hill
Staten Island Advance
27 November 2009

© viggo-works.com. Images © Focus Features.


Source: https://www.viggo-works.com/?page=243