Monday, April 03, 2006


I remember when I finished reading Hamlet: I was intimidated, breathless. It seemed to me to be a wholly realistic portrayal of the world in not being realistic, in having an implausible, disconnected story with strange muffled echoes as if in a nighmarish, bloody fog, nightmarish bloody things happening in a blinding fog. The language, well, the language was, hmm, joyous, explosive. I don’t know if he is for all ages but he is for our age: all written when it was only beginning. Currently in pop-academia it seems fashionable to stress his Catholic ties. Yet, all you get in his texts is this world in its human polyphony with the complete absence of God that we have here. Issues of faith are not directly handled at all. (No doubt there was some sympathy for the underdog in the blood stained hands of history but probably no illusions of what would happen if the underdog got the upper hand.) The human polyphony…

It is remarkable how he remains poised, how his person and preferences remain distant. Academics seem to find all sorts of traits of character from his writing (curiously often enough echoing their own inclinations and prejudices). I don’t get any sense of the personality, only a scary detachment, I cannot imagine such mind. He is the only writer that intimidates me.

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