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Showing posts from November 22, 2020

Child of the Century

  I cannot prove this or weave too large a theme out of it, but I think there is a Mediterranean modernism, one that takes up the challenge of Nietzsche’s Gay Science. “Man has gradually become a phantasmal beast, which has to satisfy a need more than any other beast: man must from time to time believe, know, why he exists, his species cannot thrive without a personal trust in life. Without the belief in reason in life! And time and time again the human race decrees that there “is something about which it is absolutely forbidden to laugh.” And the most foresighted philanthropist would add, not just laughing and the gay science, but even the tragic with all its sublime irrationality belongs to the means the necessities of species preservation! And thus! Thus! Thus!” Nietzsche’s gay science entitles a minor tradition that I’d call Mediterranean modernism. I’m thinking about figures like Pirandello, Unamuno, even Borges. In the post-war period, I’d include in the cut Sciascia and Pasolini

For E.D.

    I’d as soon lay hold of Emily’s dash and trifle as I would lift my uncle Jeff Cash’s favorite rifle   from out of the case where he keeps it in his den - under where the head of an 8 point buck sits and scares men   and little girls who enter – I should know who used to stare back at the monster until I’d go Beyond my fear.   From this I culled my fiercest dreams - the dash from Emily would be heavier and scarier than it seems similarly.