Sunday, September 10, 2006

For All Eyes Only

In the New York Times this morning you can read some of Susan Sontag's journal entries, and though it felt a bit weird to be reading what someone has presumably written to herself, Sontag herself claims that journals are written "precisely to be read furtively by other people." I'm not sure I agree with that, but it made me feel better as I read on.

A couple things I liked or found interesting:

"The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense of abusing the present." Now that rings true -- how else can I explain what I experience as my impending doom (turning 30 next year)?

"It’s corrupting to write with the intent to moralize, to elevate people’s moral standards." Not entirely sure I agree with this, but it's interesting to consider.

"A freshly typed manuscript, the moment it’s completed, begins to stink. It’s a dead body — it must be buried — embalmed, in print."


Steve-o said...

You must not have children?

nedric said...

The quotation about how it is corrupting to write about moral standards reminds me of Kierkegaard's Works of Love (or his texts commenting on his authorship) - where he says that "Doing nothing can be the most difficult work."

I hope that good hermeneutical practices can resuscitate finished manuscripts!

Monica said...

Steve-O, thanks for stopping by. No, I don't have children. But my "impending doom" does not stem from a fear that I won't have children (there's nothing to stop me from having a child right now); it's actually connected more to the idea of being officially grown up at 30.

Nedric -- oh, I so need to revisit Kierkegaard's WORKS OF LOVE. But I am also invested in the possibility that "good hermeneutical practices" have the potential to "resuscitate finished manuscripts" -- hence, my fascination with midrash, or, more accurately, midrashic reading and writing. Reading everything midrashically.