Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.
You think an ad’s just a piece of art? (…) You think it’s not about what life’s really about? That your fears and desires grow on trees? Come out of nowhere? That you just naturally want what we, your fathers, work night and day to make sure you want?
There was a lot of rereading for me (Infinite Jest, V, Mao II, Brave New World, Naked Lunch, Lord of Flies, The Trial, Swann’s Way, Crime and Punishment) and other side-stuff to do (a thesis on IP and philosophy courses) but still I managed to finally sink my teeth into a few great books. Here are short highlights:
<read on —>
<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’
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.
Hal listened to a few minutes of the stuff and told his brother it sounded like somebody’s mind coming apart right
before your ears.
[We try to discover in things, endeared to us on that account, the spiritual glamour which we ourselves have cast upon them; we are disillusioned, and learn that they are in themselves barren and devoid of the charm which they owed, in our minds, to the association of certain ideas; sometimes we mobilise all our spiritual forces in a glittering array so as to influence and subjugate other human beings who, as we very well know, are situated outside ourselves, where we can never reach them. On cherche à retrouver dans les choses, devenues par là précieuses, le reflet que notre âme a projeté sur elles; on est déçu en constatant qu’elles semblent dépourvues dans la nature, du charme qu’elles devaient, dans notre pensée, au voisinage de certaines idées; parfois on convertit toutes les forces de cette âme en habileté, en splendeur pour agir sur des êtres dont nous sentons bien qu’ils sont situés en dehors de nous et que nous ne les atteindrons jamais.]
M. Proust – Swann’s Way
I put that in brackets as I had to contain these thoughts in something. Every chapter on Proust’s novel is what he found inside, in his head, in his very own associations. You can see how deep he descended as he mourned that people really differ from how we imagine them. He only dreamed of ‘mentally eating’ everyone, taking everything in, dismantling all the phisical outlines. He was a romantic genius yearning for the power to play with the world as if it was clay. Or his imagined clay, even more flexible.
You might even say that he had an obssesion of doing what only the time itself was able to do; that is to effortlessly reshape all things on earth, from tiniest grains of sand to the highest, never unfrozen mountains.
read on —->