The Frenetic Dynamism of America

From William Barrett’s Irrational Man

“And yet despite all its apparently cheerful and self-satisfied immersion in gadgets and refrigerators American life, one suspects, is nihilistic to its core. Its final “What for?” is not even asked, let alone answered.”

To The Unknown God

“To The Unknown God” by Friedrich Nietzsche

I must know thee, Unknown One

Thou who searchest out the depths of my soul

And blowest like a storm through my life

Thou art inconceivable and yet my kinsman!

I must know thee and even serve thee

With Incomplete Sincerity

“There is no such thing as complete unity in a person, and so no one is ever completely sincere or insincere.”

“In order to live at peace with ourselves, we almost always disguise our impotence and weakness as calculated actions and systems, and so we satisfy that part of us which is observing the other.”

Adolfe by Benjamin Contstant

Adolfe, by the way, is a fantastic but little known  French novel, one that seeks to plumb the depths of the human experience, and peal away the masks we inevitably wear in our dealings with one another. Even more importantly it strips away the deceptions with which we approach ourselves.

Writer’s Statement: Madness and Concretism in the Political Age

Our ultimate fate as human beings lies in posing the question of our own  meaning. As writers, artists, etc. this is the always uncharted terrain we must never shy away from.  But to do so we must go beyond the dogmatic safety of the Western sociopolitical world, beyond the comfort of our conventional good and evil, and striding past the petrified political dive down into living Avernus, naked, risking everything, first and foremost our own sanity.  Otherwise, there is no real risk, nothing of any real value will be accomplished, and the work of our generation will ultimately be forgotten, as it will have nothing but brittle, ephemeral concretism to offer the visceral uncertainty of the future.

The Africans

Just read “The Africans,” a beautifully crafted, highly evocative short story set in Southern Spain, written by Julia Halprin Jackson. There is something extraordinary about this part of the world, where Europe reaches out and nearly touches the seething continent of Africa.  Julia Halprin Jackson has captured this flawlessly. You can read her story at West Branch Wired.