The Author: Disembedded
You will find a post-modern (or, perhaps, a post/post-modern), dialectical, social-constructivist perspective within this website, as well as at the center of my own thinking. In the here-and-now, my own impressions and actions, might well be expressed metaphorically as, “All the world is a stage, the play is just badly cast.”
Inez in Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit says, “One always dies too soon–or too late. And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are–your life and nothing else.” This implies that, in a way, each moment is like that. As Irwin Hoffman (1998) once put it, “[Each moment] stands forever as we lived it. Whatever choices we’ve made, moreover, express only facets of ourselves. The potentials of many other facets are inevitably sacrificed. Some of our choices shape only brief experiences, while other decisions mold more substantial parts of our lives. Although we cannot change any moment as it was experienced, we can make choices that affect the meaning to us of any particular moment as we think of it in retrospect. However, death puts an end to any chance to revise the meaning of our experience by reinterpreting earlier experiences in light of later ones, and the anticipation of death includes the anticipation of that final boundary.”
The ultimate challenge for all of us is to accept, embrace the uncertainty of what kind of hand fate will bring us, alongside the certainty that in the end it will always bring death, and yet in the face of those realities still be able to choose to celebrate and care for our lives and the lives of others with commitment, with passion and with the most sharp-witted sense of judgment that we can summon. Thus, the importance of always trying to construct good enough endings.
Some “Wilde” Words From Your Gentle Host:
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.”
“Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.“
“It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one’s back that are absolutely and entirely true.“
“Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor of journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.“
“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.“
(And Me Too)
C. K. Chesterton’s critical view of public journalism was quite similar to Wilde’s:
“A man might actually succeed in jornalism by writing articles exactly appropriate to all the journals, and then putting them all into the wrong envelopes.”
Chesterton, G. K., The Illustrated London News, August 21, 1909
Oscar Wilde: From The Picture of Dorian Gray
“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter that we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often.
Nothing seems to us changed.
Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same weairsome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness, and the memories of pleasure their pain,” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
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