Thursday, May 30, 2013
All Miracles and Nonsense
In a recent post I mentioned coming across a book whose title I shall herein paraphrase as A lot of famous authors, many of whom I have managed to never hear of, write about old books they either think too few people admire and read, or that made some weird huge impression on them that they understand probably wouldn't mean much to anyone else. I half read, half skimmed the whole book. Cumulatively the authors gave off a very strong objective sense about what literature is. I was rather overwhelmed by all this objective seriousness and their deep valuing of books that sounded strangely uninteresting and often bleak. Overcome by their lucid understanding and forceful objectivism I had to hide whimpering under a lot of pillows for many hours. As tempting as it is to rail against the lot of them I cannot. For, alas, I am as awfully prone to bombastic, earnest, objective appraisal as the worst of them! "This is the greatest this" and "This was the foundation of all this" stuff, statements I feverishly believe, but have also, frankly, made up. It's not science here. Everyone is making this stuff up. Some people are magnificently knowledgeable and clever and sound like God, but it doesn't change the making it up part. And so I resolve to try and keep in mind that this is art we are talking about. And while art is easily in the top two most magnificent things humans engage in, it is also the silliest. So says the dark squiggles that transmute into a voice in your head.