Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eighteen to Twenty Five

I have little idea how many readers I get. I have not installed a site meter.

I have been told by Elberry that if I register with Blogger, hits may increase. Yet in a way maybe I wish to hide behind obscurity as a convenient excuse for the minimal attention I imagine I receive. One thinks of the man who expostulates and rants alone in his bedroom, as opposed to he who declaims on Hyde Park Corner and is completely ignored. While the latter can only avoid becoming aware of his irrelevancy to people’s lives by encapsulating himself inside a highly sophisticated interpretative worldview, from which he looks out eccentrically, the former can always maintain in his heart that he is only not being adulated by his fellow men because he is not visible to them.

For certain I know I get some readers, as well as comments. Those who leave comments should know that they are very much appreciated. Thank you very much for them!

Until July 2006 all my ‘creative’ or expressive writing, as opposed to that intended for teachers at School or University, was only done in one of two ways: in letters, especially to Lee Hutchinson and david crane, who were my two best ‘intellectual’ friends in my twenties and early thirties; and in writings which remained unshared on my computer, which to this day remain largely unread. My lack of interest in trying to get these writings published is something I can’t easily explain. In a way I feel ‘guilty’, as if by not trying to get them out there I was withholding from the world, not putting back into society the fruits that had grown as a result of my education and privileged upbringing. Yet, this presumption of a misdeed in my shyness, I am aware, itself implies a supposition I was not always sure was valid. Namely, that the writings, mainly conceived between the ages of eighteen and twenty five, were any good. Attending that doubt would follow the embarrassed lack of interest in imposing myself on publishers, of wasting their time with what they’d only reject. And it is true that I wasn’t interested in receiving harsh criticism of my writings, criticisms that I might have, and probably would have, anticipated anyway. If you are going to dislike them, I’d rather you not read them, was often be my internalized refrain.

Was this only a defensive, prickly, lack of self-confidence, should I say lack of self-assertion – one of the cardinal sins of the age, so it seems, especially in the eyes of women, especially when practiced by men. Maybe, to an extent, though I’d rather call it humility, a making of a space for others, a not wishing to bother others with ones perceptions unless one is asked for them. Or was it something else?

In my world of inner expansiveness, inner tranquility, inner luxuriousness-in-God, interior delighting in infinity, the writings I penned had seemed wonderful to me. The thing was, I was not, in my self-understanding, unhinged enough to then presume de facto that this recognition of quality was objective, shared amongst others. Yet, because I thought them precious in-themselves, I was not willing to have them negatively savaged. And this was the case, I think, not only because I considered that despite what others might negatively have to say, according to their own criteria of judgment that may or may not have had valid claim to represent objective standards of quality, the writings did in fact exhibit a genuine quality, at least of a kind. I think it was also because these writings were exercising a function for me that was more than merely expressive. They were more than a reaching out towards the eyes and ears of others. Indeed, I would say that it wasn’t so much that through them I was expressing myself to the world, as that in them I was on the one hand locating myself and taking refuge from the world and on the other trying to re-create myself through them into a different kind of a being from that which I'd been for the previous eighteen years; such as to become a person inhabiting a new, different kind of reality, a new world, one, moreover, that was altogether superior and more glorious - albeit, as it would transpire, a somewhat lonely world on occasions, and not always one that, as my mid twenties would reveal, would keep the dragons and demons at bay.

Maybe I will publish these early writings on another blog. Though I think I’d be more likely to if I was asked to, if there was an interest in them, which of course I cannot presume in the silence that there would be, or should be.

Some of these writings are already ‘out there’. The Theological notes, or some of them anyway, which I wrote as a twenty two year old in my last year at university when I should have been sticking to my course work, thinking about career plans and chasing women (other than Barbara). Essentially thay are all about hell, and I realize I need to edit them somewhat. Writing them, however, did in a way drive me crazy so I've always been a bit reluctant to revisit.

If thou has nothing better to do.

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