M. Kundera – Slowness

our period is obsessed by the desire to forget, and
it is to fulfill that desire that it gives over to the
demon of speed; it picks up the pace to show us
that it no longer wishes to be remembered; that it
is tired of itself; sick of itself; that it wants to blow
out the tiny trembling flame of memory.

 

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A. Gide – Les caves du Vatican

Il m’apprit à dépenser sans tenir de comptes et sans m’inquiéter par avance si j’aurais de quoi suffire à ma fantaisie, à mon désir ou à ma fain. Il émettait en principe qu’il faut toujours satisfaire celle-ci la dernière, car (je me souviens de ses paroles) désir ou fantaisie, disait-il, sont de sollicitation fugitive, tandis que la faim toujours se retrouve et n’est que plus impérieuse pour avoir attendu plus longtemps. Il m’apprit enfin à ne pas jouir d’une chose davantage, selon qu’elle coûtait plus cher, ni moins si, par chance, elle n’avait coûté rien du tout.

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R. Bresson – Au hasard Balthazar

-Keep it. It’s not money I need,but a friend.

-Yes, a friend.

-A friend who can tell me
how to run away. I’ve always wanted to.

-Run away?

-Run away. A friend to share my pleasures and pains.

-I’ll share your pains and pleasures. But I hope it’s more pleasure than pain.

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Pleasure as a source of suffering – population control in ‘Brave new world’, ‘Naked Lunch’ and ‘Infinite Jest’.

<some paper I’ve written for classes, why not post?>

„For the first time it was inside, do you see.

The control is put inside. No more need to suffer

passively under ‘outside forces’ – to veer into any wind.”

– Thomas Pynchon ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’

 

 

I. Introduction

 

The main question that we would like to deal with in this paper is whether pleasure plays an instrumental role in controlling the way people act. This is neither a new idea, nor is it groundbreaking, and as we will see, there are at least a few major examples of literature works that explore the said topic. However, as we would like to take a look on novels written in quite different moments in history, that is, more or less, in: the beginning (1931), the middle (1959) and the end (1996) of the 20th country, it might be a move resulting in some interesting conclusions. The specific way that the pleasure is used, the way people react to it, the effects of such enterprise and finally the way in which the great authors chose to write about it are all subject to considerable and meaningful changes. It is understood by us that even though literature may not always hold the key to the ultimate truth, it does vividly show how we, collectively, think about certain issues at certain points in time. In other words, it is to be more of a hermeneutic work, than a rigorous, scientific securitizing of the possible ways our present civilization might develop.

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All the Pretty Flowers

No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the knife—lost

A. Ginsberg – Kaddish

It’s time get this blog back on track, a little more time and a little more summer outside. That helps.  The quote above caught my eye lately. This isn’t a surprise but let’s make it clear. Allen Ginsberg has a lot more to offer than just Howl.

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Regina Spektor – Hero

Power to the people, we don’t want it, we want pleasure

And the TV’s try to rape us and I guess that they’re succeeding

And we’re going to these meetings but we’re not doing any meeting

             And we’re trying to be faithful but we’re cheating, cheating, cheating

 

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