Thursday, July 17, 2014

Two Constructivisms

I just came across a passage in the Unquiet Grave that made me sit up and ruffle my hair. Let's call it the Palinurean construction of reality:

Both my happiness and my unhappiness I owe to the love of pleasure; of sex, travel, reading, conversation (hearing oneself talk), food, drink, cigars and lying in warm water.

Reality is what remains when these pleasures, together with hope for the future, regret for the past, vanity of the present, and all that composes the aroma of the self are pumped out of the air-bubble in which I shelter.

He goes on to quote Heidegger on "care" and "anxiety". Connolly's vision can be usefully compared with the Proustian construction of reality:

What we call reality is a certain relationship between sensations and memories which surround us at the same time, the only true relationship, which the writer must recapture so that he may for ever link together in his phrase its two distinct elements. One may list in an interminable description the objects that figured in the place described, but truth will begin only when the writer takes two different objects, establishes their relationship, and encloses them in the necessary rings of his style (art)...

This will be worth thinking a little more carefully about.

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