02 November 2009

Some more Ferdydurke quotes

From near the beginning (and don't you believe things are any different now than when it was written):
I envied those literary men, exalted and predestined to higher things from the cradle, whose Soul – its backside prodded with an awl – strove continually upward; those writers in their Soul took themselves seriously, and who, with unborn ease and in great creative torment, dealt with matters and so high and mighty and forever hallowed that God himself would have seemed to them commonplace and less than noble. Why isn't everyone called to write yet another novel about love or to tear apart, in pain and suffering, some social ill or other, and become the Champion of the oppressed? Or to write poems, and become the Poet who believes in the 'glorious future of poetry'? To be talented, and with one's spirit to lift and nourish the wide masses of untalented spirits? Yet what pleasure is there in agonising and tormenting oneself, in burning on the altar of self-sacrifice, be it in the realm of the high and sublime and – the mature? To live vicariously through thousand-year-old cultural institutions as securely as if one were setting aside a little sum in a savings account – this could be one's own, as well as other people's, fulfillment. But I was, alas, a juvenile, and juvenility was my only cultural institution.

From sort of near the middle:
It's also possible, however, that my work was conceived out of torment from associating with an actual person, for example, with the distinctly repulsive Mr XY, or with Mr Z, whom I hold in utmost contempt, and NN, who bores and wearies me – oh, the terrible torment of associating with them! And – it's possible – that the motive and goal of writing this book is solely to show these gentlemen my disdain for them for them, to agitate, irritate, and enrage them, and to get them out of my way. In this case the motive would seem to be clear-cut, personal, and aimed at the individual.
But perhaps my work came from imitating masterworks?
From inability to create a normal work?
From dreams?
From complexes?
Or perhaps from memories of my childhood?
and perhaps because I began writing and so it happened to come out
From anxiety disorder?
From obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Perhaps from a bubble?
From a pinch of something?
From a part?
From a particle?
From thin air?
One would also need to establish, proclaim, and define whether the work is a novel, a memoir, a parody, a lampoon, a variation on a fantasy, or a study of some kind – and what prevails in it: humour, irony, or some deeper meaning, sarcasm, persiflage, invective, rubbish, pur nonsens, pur claptrapism, and more, whether it's simply a pose, pretence, make-believe, bunkum, artificiality, paucity of wit, anemia of emotion, atrophy of imagination, subversion of order, and ruination of the mind.

From the very end (and equally applicable to those who read through this post):
It's the end, what a gas,
And who's read it is an ass!

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