Monday, November 18, 2013

thinking for and being oneself

An intellectual runs the risk of disappearing into his fascination with exemplars of the cultural mosaic -- whether of art, music, literature, film, whatnot.

The quality manifestings of great sensibilities are implicit forms of questioning. One mustn't get so transfixed by and identified with the aesthetic interrogations of reality by others than one forgets to question the questioners, so to speak. One should make the effort to glimpse beyond the fine probings of others.

One should stand just a little outside of outstandingness. 

Quality manifestings of great sensibilities should become the foundation for a possibility of having a unique metaphysical thought, emotion, question.

Occasionally, you come upon an especially peculiar shape of non-questioning -- the intellectual hipster. 

He unwittingly or intentionally has folded himself into an edgy Beat role or style of being. As if life is only This Way of considering it -- an extravagance of phenomena, a spectacle of relations, a peyote immanence. In doing so, he not only blinds himself to unexplored worlds (the non-hipster visions of, say, Bruno Schulz), he also becomes a walking, talking amalgam of the already-thought. Such role playing of radical outlook is, to the outside observer, a wincing-yet-boring contradiction.

In the manner of

No, tell me something in the manner of yourself. I'd prefer, occasionally, to not read about your reality as strained through the mesh of others' impressions, others' questions. I'd prefer, occasionally, to read about your unique manifesting under the vast field of impossible stars and paradoxical fate.  


  1. This reader has been drawn to writing via an ephemeral magnetism akin to a blind girl attempting to visualize a stranger's face, stumbling onto it on library shelves, or inside piano benches, left out on a friend's table, and now through the odd digital rabbit-trails the Internet engenders. All of these early impressions, added to at least a rudimentary vocabulary of sensory experiences are necessary, IMHO in order to even vaguely formulate or articulate the flavor of one's own presence. One of the most difficult tasks in anyone's life can be to discover or to dig up the courage to reveal one's own voice or ....apoplectic, and indignantly neglected spleen.

    1. When I wrote the above piece, I think I knew what I was talking about. Now, what I wrote strikes me as the diffuse mutterings of some old guy. Almost incoherent.

      I think I was reacting to a general impression of, say, New Yorkish literary critics. What they write seems to flow from a consensus martini-bookish way of being in the world -- an almost mincing omniscience and a too-suave attitude occurs in their prose.

      And then there's the hipsters -- they think and write within a constricted consciousness that idolizes drugs, booze, road trips, dingy hotels, dark passengers, and exotic experience that adds up to Boring for me.

      And let's not forget the avant-garde, that "cutting-edge" group of thinkers and beings who are too shallow to be continually stunned by the great old stuff.

      I think I'm still incoherent. I think I'm also grumpy. Ha.