Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Endearing Perversion

I started reading another Milan Kundera book a few weeks ago. It's called "Immortality". I've read 3 other books of his and they have all been interesting. He has a very good way of expounding on small events or subtle gestures, and through these events and gestures something meaningful or timeless is revealed. I love it. At first, "Immortality" seemed to be shaping up as my least favorite of his books, but I'm wrong. While it's not my favorite, it's definitely become throught provoking. More specifically, pages 81-111 have been great. I've always enjoyed when an author or song takes a discomforting approach, or perverse approach to expressing a fairly common concept. For example, in this book, Kundera, through the characters in the book, expresses a negative side of Hitler's death, because, as he says, "In a certain sense he regretted Hitler's disappearance in the ruins of his bunker, because ever since then good and evil have become unbearably relative." It is a timely coincidence because a few months ago I ended up writing in my journal about the relative nature of morality. I'll probably post it soon. It is exciting to let a thought run on its own for a bit, banging against every pre-conditioned wall in your head. Any thought; offensive, desperate, perverse, wrong, evil...any thought should be expounded on. Everything is permitted if it can appeal to someones sense of humanity, in any capacity, even if it's merely theoretical or poetic. Sometimes the most wonderful art is the most offensive and perverse at first glance. I imagine that once these ideas enter your head, they can be quickly reigned in, perhaps even dispelled, but I think it's wonderful when these initial musings lead to a creative work that opens up someones mind for even one minute.

In other parts of this book, he does the same thing to explore illustrate love, self image, and the desire to establish yourself as an individual. I'm going to put excerpts in the next few posts. Also, in a relatively short paragraph, he questions the reasons in which people love music in such an enlightening way. I'm not even done with the book, but it has made think enough today, so much so to motivate this post.

"Suddenly frightened by her hatred, she said to herself: the world is at some sort of border; if it is crossed, everything will turn to maddness; people will walk the streets holding forget-me-nots or kill one another on sight. And it will take very little for the glass to overflow, perhaps just one drop; perhaps just one car too many, or one person, or one decibel. There is a certain quantitative border that must no be crossed, yet no one stands guard over it, and perhaps no one even realizes that it exists."


Blogger Melanie said...

I am not at all familiar with the author, but the last paragraph is intriguing.

2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

just curious,
have you read the End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey?
I know it's not that metaphorical or deep but I am definitely interested to hear your thoughts.

everyone else seems to completely love it or hate it and I think there is too much to take or leave at face value...

11:29 PM

Blogger David said...

anonymous. i have not read that book, but the title would catch my eye. i can't imagine that a book called "the end of religion" would be that one dimensional in terms of the metaphorical or not being too deep. whether a book is deep or simple, that doesnt matter. a good message will be recieved clearly no matter what the approach.

8:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

read it sometime maybe.
It's about how Jesus came to end religion, to completely upturn all the religious systems, not to create one

It feels a bit like propaganda at times but some of the basic points about spinning the Bible to be a subversive text are interesting.

10:31 AM


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