Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some thoughts lately ...

- "Cassandra Cat," Vojtech Jasny

"Yup, still thinking there's a way to get back. He's been changing, sure, changing, plucking the albatross of self now and then, idly, half-conscious as picking his nose -- but the one ghost-feather his fingers always brush by is America. Poor asshole, he can't let her go. She's whispered love me too often to him in his sleep, vamped insatiably his waking attention with come-hitherings, incredible promises. One day -- he can see a day -- he might be able to finally say sorry, sure and leave her . . . but not just yet. One more try, one more change, one more deal, one more transfer to a hopeful line. Maybe it's just pride. What if there's no place for him in her stable any more? If she has turned him out, she'll never explain. Her 'stallions' have no rights. She is immune to their small, stupid questions. She is exactly the Amazon Bitch your fantasies have called her to be."

-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow; pgs. 635 - 6

"If you don't believe it's raining
I won't tell you that it's raining
but do you not believe it's raining
just because it gets you down?
If you don't believe in happiness
then don't believe in happiness
but if you don't believe in happiness
then man you must be down."

- Animal Collective, "Winter Wonderland"

More substance soon. Just finishing up a for-hire editing job then I'll get back to M. Days and the such.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

"But with the development of the consumer society and means of communication people's lifestyles in Europe gradually came to resemble each other and some sociologists and historians believed that it was outmoded to think in terms of nation and said that the most characteristic features of Western industrial society was cosmopolitanism and that there was actually no such thing as Germans or Romanians, Swedes, etc., that they were simply self-projections into social stereotypes and prejudices. But other sociologists disagreed with them and said that with the development of the consumer society and means of communication, people gradually lost most of their points of reference and that the national community had paradoxically become more important than ever. And stereotypes were essential for preserving collect and historical memory, without which Western society would lose its cultural unity, because unity could not but be heterogeneous. And collective memory was a compromise interaction between the past and the present and stereotypes and prejudices had the advantage of aging more slowly than history and technological innovations, etc., and that they represented the last and also most active sphere in which social identity was preserved. Ethnologists and anthropologists said that historicity can assume two forms, one of which was peculiar to societies that wanted to preserve their symbolic existence and the other to societies that tapped events and energy from history. And Western society traditionally fell into the second category but at the present time was possibly shifting to the first. And philosophers said that the acceleration of history that had occurred in the twentieth century resulted in an indifference toward time and the demise of historicity in its traditional form, and if another form of historicity was to emerge it was necessary to slow history down, and some of them demanded that the Declaration of Human Rights should include the right to human time.

...And in 1989, an American political scientist invented a theory about the end of history, according to which history had actually come to an end, because modern science and new means of communication allowed people to live in prosperity, and universal prosperity was the guarantee of democracy and not the contrary as the Enlightenment philosophers and Humanists had once believed. And citizens were actually consumers and consumers were also citizens and all forms of society evolved toward liberal democracy and liberal democracy would in turn lead to the demise of all authoritarian forms of government and to political and economic freedom and equality and a new age in human history, but it would no longer be historical. But lots of people did not know the theory and continued to make history as if nothing had happened."

The end of Europeana, a tremendously therapeutic overview of 20th century Western civilization that weaves themes and motifs and symbols of the century into an exhilarating and fortifying 120 page narrative of the human soul in (circuitous) transition (toward what?).

Here in the final pages Ouredník really brilliantly connotes the question and meaning of self-identity, which I think is important for myself and myself as a writer and creator of characters who exist in real time and imaginary time, history and the impression of history. History which Ouredník observes both "removes the legitimacy of the living past by fixing it in time" and is "simply constant shapeless movement that expresses nothing and everything is fiction and simulation."