Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Debated Furiously

This is a work on which much has been written, debated, furiously and otherwise; this adverbial "otherwise" including an educated, civilized icy gloss which in truth contained even more fury, or something worse than fury, for the fury was at least honest, unconcealed, laid its cards on the table for all to see, even if in the most wild manner, whereas this cool educated gloss was simply a handed down method, the device of a class of people, an inherited form, which enabled them to assert their superiority over their implied boorish lessers; and so this method was impersonal, abstract, inhuman even, whereas the abandonment of form within the impassioned fury of the other speaker was the unfeigned and natural outpouring of his felt core.

But, of course, such is the wisdom and strength of this urbane, "civilized" method, that the furious one will lose by his lack of restraint, even if he has truth, or something more closely resembling truth, on his side. He will leave an unsavoury impression on the audience, and even if one sees he has truth and the civilized man falseness, still one will feel an uneasy embarrassment for him, and the man's growing isolation will imperceptibly deepen, felt by all, and so falseness wins out merely because it has method, elegant form. The audience, even if faintly recognising the falseness, will still reluctantly and with some bitterness bow down to the polished method.

But what has been written on this work, and debated so furiously and otherwise? The same old debate I'm sure that always rears its unsubtle head: "What does it mean?" To which I would be tempted to say, it "means" whatever you experience in the reading of it and the aftermath of the reading of it, which "meaning" may have become something else altogether once transformed or forced into some secondhand linguistic substance.

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