Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh Frabjous Day!

I find more and more, as I write these blog posts of mine, that they stray from what should be their sole purpose, namely to chronicle the incidents that I am fated to experience and enunciate the thoughts that chance upon my mind, almost exclusively into the realm of limning my literary absorptions, and my experience of them. Every time I sit down to type one of these blog updates, I find myself trying to imagine how I could concisely convey what I feel, and the manner in which I feel it. I have tried at times to describe in detail such feelings, and failing miserably at doing so, comforted myself in the thought that my blog is after all an account that I keep for my sake alone, and while it is gratifying to know that people read it, however strong the desire to describe to my reader the precise emotion I feel when I write, what remains paramount is that I am able to say exactly what I want to say regardless of whether it makes any sense to anyone else or not. When I read today the posts I wrote a few months ago, I am struck by how many tiny, but moving sensations are awoken in me at the remembrance of an incident I described which might seem commonplace to a chance reader, but which are not without a multitude of arcane memories for me. And when I do so, I am overcome by a very confounding, and almost paralyzing sense of wanting to grab hold of the first passer-by I come across, sit him down and not caring how many months or years of torment it takes, to make him understand exactly how I felt, and how I continue to feel every second of every day. I feel so agonizingly alive and animated, that I cannot bear the notion that I will live my life out, and not be able to profess in any way remotely capable of making anyone ever understand how much I feel, and how acutely I feel it.

This, as you might have guessed is one such attempt. And reading what I have just typed, I realize the unqualified and absolute futility of it. Which brings me back to the matter of writing about what I read: upon further deliberation, it seems to me that the reason I enjoy works of literature so much is that I feel, to however limited an extent, what the writer felt as he wrote. And the reason I write about them so often in my blog is because I want to experience the delight of saying: "I know how you felt!", even if I never experience recompense. I perceive in the books I read fragments of the very same animation that I feel, but am not able to express. I read, and walk with the writer. I read, and sense with my mind, what the writer sensed with his faculties. I do not flatter myself that I do so in any way that is more or less different from that which others do. Mr. Butler, through his wonderfully satirical alter ego, Edward Overton, describes the foolish and pompous presumption of Mr. George Pontifex that he, when in the presence of works of artistic genius, was clever enough to realize his limited capabilities, and feel in its entirety the humility which seemed properly due the masters. Perhaps, for all my scoffing at the absurdity and snobbish ostentatiousness of Mr. Pontifex, I am no different, no better than him. I do feel humbled when I read the books I read. Every time I read a book, I am exhilarated, but the sense of inadequacy grows. I am never resentful, but rather like the starry-eyed schoolboy du Maurier described who regards his prefect with a fawning admiration, I too admire, and realize that I am incapable of something of such sheer magnitude. No one a few centuries later will read me, and feel what I feel. No one even today will feel what I feel unless I fuse our two selves in one. Those are perhaps lofty goals. But failing those possibly unattainable goals, no one will even know how much I feel what I feel every single day. I feel happy. And I quote Lewis Carroll, who so much more than me, and without having to write as much as I just did, was able to just say: “Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

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