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Showing posts from May 31, 2009

boredom (crossposting at Newsfromthezona)

When I look back on my life and try to understand why it has been such a failure, the key, I think, is in my inability to endure boredom. Or perhaps I should say my inability to endure boredom for the sake of making money. In this, I am spiritually one with the street people, the addicts, the semi-professional criminals – with all of those who never quite grew up, whose immaturity is caught in their throat. The difference is that, among the decayed Peter Pan gang, there is – as you will find out very quickly if you talk to them - an astonishing nostalgia for the larva days – high school pranks, days of honey in the suburban hive. I hate that shit, which bored me at the time, and bores me in memory still. And yet, at the same time, I am enmeshed in activities that may seem, and probably are, boring to most of workaday America. And, to add to the problem of being bored in America, I find the culture of entertainment that has been foisted upon that workaday world – and eagerly adopted –

the happy doppelganger 1

-- “What I have so often seen in dreams has been fulfilled to me – in the most fearful manner – crippled and ripped apart men.” Such was the entry in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s notebook about the 29th of August, 1813, when he ventured out of Dresden and toured the recent battlefield, upon which Napoleon had inflicted a defeat upon the Alliance. Napoleon’s victory didn’t save him - and it came at the loss of about 30,000 soldiers on both sides. Hoffmann, walking in a Dresden street on the morning of the battle, was nearly killed by a grenade. “So often seen in dreams.” Hoffmann’s 19th century biographers remarked that their subject wildly claimed to see spirits and doubles outside of dreams. Our information comes from Hitzig, the curiously contemptuous first collector of Hoffmann’s papers. Georg Ellinger, later, saw Hoffmann’s statements as being the overflow of his spirit. His claims, Ellinger thinks, should be interpreted poetically, as metaphors. Although it is true that the short man, whose