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“No, Meg, don’t hope it was a dream. I don’t understand it anymore than you do. But one thing I have learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be…..”
The art of prose exists because the words are not objects but designations for objects.
Prose is an attitude of mind.
Beauty hides in a book; It acts by persuasion like the charm of a voice or a face. It does not coerce; it inclines a person without his suspecting it, and he thinks that he is yielding to arguments when he is really being solicited by a charm he does not see.
The dead are there [in the library]; The only thing they have done is write. They’ve long since been washed clean of the sin of living and their lives are known only through books which other dead men have written about them.
In one sense, it is a possession; The reader lends himself to the dead in order that they might come back to life.
In another sense, it is contact with the beyond.
Literature and Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre
…………gather round the children and elders, as I will tell a tale of Once, Back When We All Lived In The Forest…….
The tale is nothing, if not novel and authentic. I readily admit the probable likelihood of disputes issuing forth once I’ve told my unheard tale.
You’ll say that you have heard this one from somewhere before.
The sensation persuading you to disbelieve me is itself the evidence that I advance in support of the validity of the two assertions I aver of my tale-it is untold and authentic.
For, do you not know that all tales of, Once, When We All Lived In The Forest, are the same tale being told anew in novel forms. The stories endure existence because we never stop wanting to hear them. We never stop wanting to hear them because we’ve always heard them. But, it is not in the way we hear phones ring, cars alarm,or birds chirp.
The sound of a story is the sound of one’s own pulse. Can you really conceive of the sound that your pulse makes? I experience my pulse, more than I hear it-although it certainly is audible. After physical exertion, I hear it loudly, sometimes, even ringing in my ears until my heartbeat begins to still. Fear, complete quiet, and stillness make my own pulse sound the loudest.
The sound of my pulse goes unnoticed by my awareness most of the time. I presume this results from my awareness having been exposed to the constant, continuing sound of my pulse during every single moment of my existence.
Eventually, my brain said, “Enough! Let’s just tune that one out. We’ve got more stimuli in this very second than the sense facilities of this meat bag could ever experience, let just go ahead and not waste energy on perceiving the pulse. That sound will continue until the meat bag dies. I know avoiding death is sort of what my job here is all about, but we don’t need to monitor for the sound of the pulse. With pulse, I’m willing to go on the honor system. Besides, if I always listen for the pulse and the pulse is always audible until ceasing at death, I will never hear it cease because its cessation is the end of my ability to hear. “
So it is with story. The ‘me,”myself,’ and, ‘I’ (used when a self references its own self hood) exist because humans have story as a sense organ. The organ differentiates humans from other mammals.
The story organ creates a self out of the development of a homo sapien. What human can be said to not have self-hood?
What is a self and how is it by which some organisms and not others come to possess self hood? Is it possible to possess self hood but have no awareness of your own self?