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52733Re: The inhospitable existentialist

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  • shadowed_statue
    Aug 3, 2010
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      We do not often consider here those existential works that are written as literary prose, not philosophy. Some time ago I finished "The Death of Ivan Ilytch", by Leo Tolstoy, which C.Corey recommended. There is aloneness unflinchingly depicted, and with unsentimental meticulousness finishes with light. It is one particular study of despair and hope, which presents pain in its awful insistence, and loses it for a while, in the very search for resolution, for meaning. And so the pain-racked man feels sorry for his son and wife at the end. He finds the light simultaneously, and release from death, which no longer exists. I do not find this a falsification, even though there is a kind of religious context in the background. Everything is attained by experience, and the careful description of experience and speech.

      Currently I am reading Kafka's "The Trial", which sets its protagonist among others, and also leaves him completely alone. This too leaves me with an unusual kind of hope. It is the quality of feeling, and of the writing, that does it. I remember you once writing here (some years ago), "we learn again to feel with our fellows". And that co-exists finely with existential aloneness, which is not an easy burden, until one day it might, I suppose, become so. The coalescence of different threads. Social hope is a quite different animal. I wonder if JPS has this alleged capacity to drive readers crazy because he applies that terrific intellect of his to an intense demand of what passes between the self and others, without the consolations of transcendence felt by Kierkegaard.


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@...> wrote:
      > I have seen most on this list pine for harmony. I do not understand that mind set.The whole argument about some supposed debt owed the other does not impress me.
      > This is a massively legalistic modern world. Now with the socialists in charge the IRS will dictate plenty of obligations to you and those around you.
      > Why do you wish to dilute the individualism of existentialism? Fn,`s revolt was against unjust authority, church authority, authority of monarchs, authority of the rich, authority of bureaucrats. , authority of god. Without a god we became more equil, more responsible for our mortal life. Without an immortal life all the cards are on the table during ones temporality. During that time there is only one permanent alliance and that is the duty to oneself to provide for the self.
      > As George Patton said "I don`t like to pay for the same place twice" . In existentialism, individualism is a mainstay and argueing about it over and over is of no use to me. I have been absent of most of the verbiage offered by Miss Polly and only comment when the abuse to the philosophy becomes rediculous. She is not making points she is making noise. Jim took a similar tact and it is better now that he has faded. Some seem to need constant reinforcement ,usually by way of endless complexification, to stay onboard. JUMP, jump back to jesus, you make your own seat here and if you are uncomfortable,leave. But when you beg for a hybrid of existentialism that leaves out the dread responsibility of being alone you have no status here. Bill
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