On The Coldness Between Pure And Impure, or Uncle Nietzsche Said
I have made it a habit to write quotations and book passages (in various notebooks, loose, random pieces of paper, journals) for two reasons: first, because I don’t like to write in my books (I have a complicated relationship with this: I believe that there is nothing more intrinsically personal than a book full of notes of the readings that its owner does, but at the same time, the idea of smearing the pages of my books with my writing is painful, as if I were tainting something absurdly sacred), and second because, since I don’t make markings in the book itself, I needed a way that would highlight from my readings the pieces that touches my soul the most. Ok, I agree: it works. To a certain extent, I never forget the passages that impress me most when I read, but this is literally all I can remember: the essence of the passages, I sometimes remember them letter by letter, but in most cases, only the main idea gets stuck in my memory and, unfortunately, I have a hard time reminding myself where I’ve read this or that (not to mention I don’t remember the authors, which doesn’t fit the behavior of a compulsive reader — blame the mess of my mind ).
As, for example, I sat down to write something (anything, as I do every night), and as I settled into my chair, a passage came into my mind about the way we see the purity of things, where we see this purity, what causes us this sensation of being before something pure. If you ask me the origin of this passage, I will not know how to respond. And, as one who wants to guard herself against criticism, I question you: isn’t there something pure in a reader who has, in his own being, a habitat of books, stories, characters and teachings, and who cannot distinguish all this beyond what is necessarily good and important to be withheld? A forgetful reader is like a flower admirer who doesn’t know what a rose is. He recognizes the beauty of flowers, regardless of whether they are roses or daisies. I recognize the depth and importance of what I read, regardless of whether it is Kant or J.K. Rowling. My friends, living with poetry is just like this, it is being an unfaithful lover without ever ceasing to be a lover. I constantly betray the very existence of the writers whom I so admire, for I often don’t remember their writings strenuously and in detail, but there is no one who can claim that I deny them all my love. Living with poetry while materially poor is just like this, it’s being an unfaithful lover who never ceases to be a lover while suffering with the ills of life.
I know that this passage that I’m remembering at the moment talked about how purity is relative, as everything in this world is, let us agree. There are those who see purity in sincere immorality, there are those who see purity only in an intact morality; there are those who believe that pure love is the one considered to be clear, and there are those who only see purity in a love that has survived storms. There are those who see literature as a vulgarly pure art, some see in the occasional vulgarity of literature the purity of the soul of its writers. There are those who prefer uncleanness and they find there the true sense of being pure, and there are those who are pure only when they distance themselves completely from the adverse contaminations. There is purity in the forgetfulness of details and in the vivacity of memories as a whole, there is purity in details that survive through the passage of time. There is purity in being all unclean: we only value clarity when we remain for long periods in the darkness, we only realize that solitude is necessary when the weight of the world threatens to break our clavicles. There are those who say that purity is not necessary because life requires a thicker shell in our hearts, there are those who seek this purity incessantly. There are those who acknowledge to be concomitantly pure and impure, there are those who recognize themselves as pure only, there are those who recognize themselves as impure only. False angels, blind angels, pure blindness, impurity that covers human deceptions: some people prefer wine and some prefer orange juice.
“You are pure when you can’t get rid of that dirty cloth that you carry around ever since you were a child, a reflection of your need to always be a little girl: pure purity. You are impure when you don’t consider the feelings of those who cherish your company, seeming to want to live eternally within a self-sufficiency arrogance that doesn’t exist: pure impurity. You are pure when you threaten me with death if I fold down the corners of the pages of your books. You are impure when you say you will never love me as I love you, because you don’t understand the dangers of a cold, sharp sincerity that can hurt. You’re pure when you’re naively sincere, fine, I agree. You are impure when you lie. You are pure when you cry with anger, with love, with longing, with sadness. You are impure when you throw your anger at anyone, when you deny your love, when you don’t know the longing and when you don’t recognize the sadness of others. You are pure, my love. You are also, without a doubt, impure. “
Uncle Nietzsche is one of the few man of words who entered my mind and bought a house here to live for all eternity. For this reason, I can’t forget when he told me that if I want to be forever pure, I must be a great ocean that will repel any little stream of impurities.
What if I’m the world, then, my dear teacher? Will I be enough?