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The Spirit of the Blog

02.25.2012

Life when one can’t hide from the eyes of others – that is hell. Those who have lived in totalitarian countries know it, but that system only brings out, like a magnifying glass, the tendencies of all modern society. The devastation of nature; the decline of thinking and of art; bureaucratization, depersonalization; lack of respect before personal life. Without secrecy, nothing is possible – not love, not friendship.

It is disappointing that one of our greatest minds, our most original writers, lives in self-imposed exile due to our inability to respect the privacy of our idols. Mass media has perpetuated a system of belief that revolves around availability and exposure, exhibitionism and shock value and shallow appearances; respects only those most willing to show themselves above the crowd, to shout above the noise, outrun and outmaneuver the competition.

There is thus little room left for subtlety, for nuance, for quiet exploration, for challenge—all things central to great literature. Is old literature dying? some have been asking. Kundera would perhaps give assent. And the fact that a living genius waits tucked away in a corner of Paris, largely unknown to (young) American audiences and unsought-out by the literary press—an establishment increasingly concerned solely with New York darlings and humorous pop writers and MFA-program graduates—is some evidence toward concurrence.

But there is the sadness inherent in a life away from others. A writer in seclusion from the public, bitter, paranoid, distrustful and disgruntled, is no match for this modern swell. Everyone must swim out in it. Without readers (present and future), writing is not possible. Many will be disgusted but perhaps we will find good ways to stay afloat, to not swallow too much filthy water.

Thus is the spiritual discrepancy of this blog from the beehive. Little liferafts named The Victor Erice and The Milan K. to keep us from drowning.

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