cri de coeur

I know that I don’t want to live the life of an efficiency-obsessed Millennial technocrat who never sleeps, never cries; who manages their life through an assisted-living network of IPhone apps. I want to leave leave room for suffering and transcendence. Life requires hunger, not satiation — a hunger that burns up the caloric energy of an education, of given values, and asks for more and more and more. When we go around saying things like, ‘I’m doing fine” or the dreaded “I’m great!”, we falsely affirm that our existence is satisfying, that our habits are meaningful, our activities enriching. Pain, doubt, self-loathing, shame; a sense of estrangement or rejection — these are taboo subjects: subjects which don’t square with the cultivated politeness that modern people are expected to display. When we say, “I’m happy”, we displace us from ourselves.

This is why literature — the work of The Writer — is valuable (of the utmost value). Literature makes our tolerable lives intolerable — so that our lives might be something more than tolerable. Literature makes us unhappy so that we might be something more, and more interesting, than happy.