Empty Days

Friday, May 27, 2005



The value of literature.

A long while ago it occured to me that when it is impossible to live life in the moment and to the fullest of possible emotion - as animals do - the only other way of filling the void of passing time would be "literature" - or the ability to record as precisely and as fully as possible whatever juice and gravy one is still able to muster from such emotionless futile existence.

Literature does not substitute life - it records and recreates tenfold something that was barely worth living when it happened. It is a powerful weapon against the flight of time which is like water sinking through one's frantically clawed fingers. The ability to write down the sum of one's experience is the last recourse against the lack of any fullness of experience - it is a way of combatting that hunger for life which is never satisfied in all of us.

All in all, literature is a very perverse and unnatural thing - but it is also the best thing that ever happened to such a perverse and unnatural being as man.

*

John Updike has a wonderfully rich writing style. One could only guess how low on calories his life had been. But he was able to supplement himself from writing.

Literature is very unlike music in that sense - though both are classified as "art".

(in response to Rozanov)

*

Or think of that moment when Montaigne sat down to write his Essays.





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