Read this as a performance piece, please…
In class, immediately after reading Final Solutions, shortly after reading Waiting for Godot, a little while after reading Mrs. Dalloway.
Rage. Suffering. Pain. Turmoil. NO PEACE. The thousand anguished cries of a thousand tormented souls, stuck in a world where nothing is happy, nothing is joy, nothing is true, nothing is good, a world where the world is terrible, a worldÂ FICTIONALISED as terrible, a terrible world, a terrible place, a place where nothing is pleasant, where tragedy is beauty, and comedy is nothing, where poetry, drama, fiction, art, journalism, NOTHING seesÂ ANYTHING butÂ PAIN. Where fear is revered, and confidence eyed with suspicion and mistrust. Where angst is treated with the gentle touch of philosophy, and Ayn Rand tarred as insane.
Who drove her mad?
The people who wrote Waiting for Godot and Mrs. Dalloway. Who wrote Final Solutions and Things Fall Apart, and The Second Coming, oh The Second Coming. Every writer who has ever been treated as a literary genius, every modernist, every post-modernist, every Realist, everyone who should have been drowned in a bucket at birth.
Pain does not equal beauty. EVER. Keats knew this. Transcending pain might. Beauty might break the pain. But wallowing in the heavy, sticky, clinging, messy, mucky, terrible mud that is human suffering with hope – sometimes – offered as the only way out, more often nothing offered, when all you have before you is more and more and more and more suffering, with no ray of light, no break in the darkness, no joy in the depression, no strength in the fear; no hope, not even that weakening deadening useless reed to depend upon in the quicksand that draws you in deeper and deeper as you touch it that holds you as you try to leave and becomes you and clings to you and grows on you and changes you and -
And you wonder why artists kill themselves?
Knowing that I write in this world, I would. Facing this quagmire, where “great literature” is filled with sorrow, and the “trash” is joy and life,Â I would.
It is impossible to survive this.
There has to be a better way.