This book started out so yellow that it turned me off for a while. But I think I ended up getting some of it. But I'm not sure yet. There's something aThis book started out so yellow that it turned me off for a while. But I think I ended up getting some of it. But I'm not sure yet. There's something about existence and the lingering effect of things, actions, occurrences. About longing and erosion.
But I seemed to not care completely about any of this. The language made me keep a distance from what was being said. But some things inevitably remained. Specially how blue fucking can be.
177. Perhaps it is becoming clearer why I felt no romance when you told me that you carried my last letter with you, everywhere you went, for months on end, unopened. This may have served some purpose for you, but whatever it was, surely it bore little resemblance to mine. I never aimed to give you a talisman, an empty vessel to flood with whatever longing, dread, or sorrow happened to be the day's mood. I wrote it because I had something so say to you.
217. "We're only given as much as the heart can endure," "What doest not kill you makes you stronger," "Our sorrows provide us with the lessons we most need to learn": these are the kinds of phrases that enrage my injured friend. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a spiritual lesson that demands becoming a quadriparalytic. The tepid "there must be a reason for it" notion sometimes floated by religious or quasi-religious acquaintances or bystanders, is, to her, another form of violence. She has no time for it. She is too busy asking, in this changed form, what makes a livable life, and how she can live it.
233. That the future is unknwoable is, for some, God's means of suturing us in, or to, the present moment. For others, it is the mark of a malevolence, a sure sign that out entire existence here is best understood as a sort of joke or mistake.
234. For me, it is neither. It is simply the way that it is. Whether this accident be a happy or unhappy one is probably more a matter of mood than anything else; the difficulty is that "our moods do not believe in each other" (Emerson). One can wander about the landscape looking for clues, amassing evidence, but even the highest pile never seems to decide the case.
Think of this book as series of long e-mails by an enthusiastic friend that doesn't know when to stop writing (which you love), because they get exiteThink of this book as series of long e-mails by an enthusiastic friend that doesn't know when to stop writing (which you love), because they get exited (just like you) when they find someone that is similar to themselves (i.e. likes the same art they do).
Because art equals life. To you/me. It's the most important thing. Without it I can't see meaning in anything, I can't function. I expect everything from art/literature. I want it to tell me the Absolute Truth, I want it to change my life, to be a remedy, to make me happy. But it never quite does it. And it becomes unbearable.
(literature matters so much to me I can hardly stand it).
Nothing I've read has saved my life, or even attempted to. I'm left alone with books that don't care whether I live or die.
Specially those that I ("everybody") should/must read. Those books. The mandatory ones. The ones that alienate you. That hate everything you are. But
I don't want to read out of duty. There are hundreds of books in the history of the world that I love to death. I'm trying to stay awake and not bored and not rote. I'm trying to save my life.
But even the books that are like myself (this one), don't quite manage to save me. Because they are just an echo of what I already know (but with better punctuation and prettier sentences).
I want work that, possessing as thin a membrane as possible between life and art, foregrounds the question of how the writer solves being alive.
This book (a self-help book for the disillusioned avid reader?) kind of gets to do that for a while. But not really. It asks a lot of questions but doesn't really answer them. Maybe it gives you the tools to figure it out by yourself? Probably not.
(view spoiler)[Twelve books I swear I'll google: Speedboat, Maps to Anywhere, For the Time Being, The End of the Novel of Love, Humiliation, Vanishing Point, A Way in the World, Bluets, Within the Context of No Context, The Ongoing Moment, The Two Kinds of Decay, Shadow Train. (hide spoiler)]
I know what the answers are, though. Sort of. I know that art doesn't equal life. That I know, but I pretend not to most of the time. Because it's a sort of refuge in a way. And literature is (made of / a) language, and
As a writer, I love language as much as any element in the universe, but I also have trouble living anywhere other than in language. If I'm not writing it down, experience doesn't really register. Language has gone from prison to refuge back to prison.
Maybe literature goes from refuge to prison to another refuge (a different one, less needy, less naive, more aware that The Artist is just some person that doesn't know much about anything, but tries to offer something anyway).
(view spoiler)[ I wish I could start a sentence with As a writer... Can I start one with As an editor?
Collage is not a refuge for the compositionally disabled.
Editing is not a refuge for the compositionally disabled.
The collage-narrator, who has the audacity to stage his or her own psychic crisis as emblematic of a larger cultural crux and general human dilemma, is virtually by definition in some sort of emotional trouble.