Sunday, February 16, 2014

Facing Facts: absurdity of existence

"There was nothing like facing facts. They blew into the face hard, like a stiff, exhilarating, decidedly gritty breeze, which brought sanity with it, even though sanity might be unwelcome."
~ Anthony Powell, The Kindly Ones

Exile can be inspirational, says James Wood. So many exiles are novelists, chess players, and intellectuals. But there is no place like home James know how it feels to swim in the oceans of homelessness

Why are writers such exceptional procrastinators? They fear being confronted with a simple truth: They’re not as good as they think they are I will never finish the story of the Bear Pit let alone Bottom of The Harbour

Bacon, Nietzsche thinks, created Shakespeare as a mask, and Shakespeare made Hamlet as his mask — “every profound spirit needs a mask,” we hear in Beyond Good and Evil. Nietzsche enables himself to write by imagining that he is Hamlet fencing, wearing a Hamlet-Shakespeare-Bacon mask all at once. “Nietzsche” is itself a literary mask for the “mute rock” of the historical Friedrich Nietzsche, who later went insane. We act, according to this view, by acting theatrically, under a veil of illusion, the same way Critchley and Webster “rashly” read Hamlet by ventriloquizing the play’s other readers, the same way they want to “be Ophelia.” Antiart must both force us to see suffering and give us the theatrical courage to resist it out of love, though we know that we will fail. As Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing.” Absurdity of existence

"In real life, things are much worse than as represented in books. In books, you love someobdy and want them, win them or lose them. In real life, so often, you love them and don't want them, or want them and don't love them."
~Anthony Powell, The Kindly Ones