Monday, February 9, 2009

'Cause He's Not Not Not Not in Your Academy

William Deresiewicz turns in an A paper:
. . . The audacity of Bolano's fiction, its disregard for convention and even probability, puts me in mind of a remark a friend once made after a jazz concert. I said I thought the keyboard player had really been taking chances, and he said, "No, he wasn't taking chances, he was doing whatever the fuck he wanted." In every sentence he wrote, every image he conceived, every compositional choice he made, Bolano did whatever the fuck he wanted.
I only know one existentialist, but I will draw his attention to this line from the same piece:
Death is just death, but to speak of oblivion as an abyss is to give it a spurious glamour, while to talk of "the abyss"—the abyss that we are all dancing on the edge of, or tragically circling, or whatever—is to seek to recover the Christian Hell, in all its metaphysical significance, under a different name.
Reminds me of the time a conservative journalist said to me, very drunkenly, "Sure, when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back. But, you have to understand, that's all it can do!"

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