Friday, October 03, 2008

As if unity or completion were possible

Questioning the very notion of wholeness makes sense in the context of modern life, broadly speaking--its shallowness, its incompleteness, its wrongness. That is, the lives we lead are not whole, and so writing as if they are, as if unity or completion were possible under these conditions--What conditions? The conditions of modernity? The conditions of civilization?--writing "as if there is indeed someone else in the world who knows more" is false, unjustified, untrustworthy. . . Perhaps this questioning made sense before, too, but the illusions of wholeness, the centuries of tradition in the shadow of civilization, some within civilization, perhaps these obscured the picture, allowed the artist to justifiably seek unity. Or perhaps even then it wasn't truly justified, with this understanding only being made possible much later.

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