Diary 2020-2022, part III

Thursday, April 9, 2020

We watched Almodóvar’s Pain and glory .

The personal in art has value when, digging very deep, it transcends and becomes universal. This means that there is a point where intimacy becomes communion.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Do I have tyrannical tendencies? It is possible that part of my perpetual desire to rebel, my disdain for authority stems from it. The desire to always be right, the anguish in the face of disagreement and the need to eliminate it. I must recognize in myself this authoritarian impulse, this desire to impose my vision.

I thought about this while listening to a podcast about Roland Barthes, about his break with Sartre because you can’t fight authority using your own resources. This desire for domination, totalization, is at the origin of so many dissidences. This is why it is so common that, when a revolution succeeds, it is not long before another revolution is necessary.

I must constantly remind myself of this, both in the context of social struggles and in my hypothetical literary work.

Julio Cortázar, I think, did not have that authoritarian bent. He was always immature in the best possible way. Borges, funny enough, didn’t either. That is why despite his extremely rigorous style and his rather conservative opinions, nothing in him, neither in the writer nor in the man, is imposing. Why is this? It’s worth thinking about: there is always in him a willingness to joke, an openness, a humility.

Bolaño? No. And it’s strange because he was prone to fierce and merciless opinions, but he was also given to laughing at everyone, everything and himself, both in life and in literature.

García Márquez yes. In life, above all. But his rabidly beautiful and modern prose saved him, or at least saved his work from the dictator that he himself recognized he carried within (let’s not forget that in an interview he once said that The Autumn of the Patriarch was an autobiography).

Vargas Llosa… absolutely yes.

The women writers I know best (which are embarrassingly few), no. It would be very good (to start reading more) to think if this is due in part to the fact that women, both in public and private life, have been silenced, marginalized, etc. and for this reason the great writers who have also been great essayists (Virginia Woolf, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion) tend to search and not to impose.

End of this two cent reflection.

I actually wanted to talk about addiction. My addiction to social networks. This sounds both melodramatic and painfully pedestrian.

And the truth is that it’s not Facebook’s fault . At least not all of it. Similarly to how the liquor industry is only partly responsible for alcoholism, junk food for obesity, or tobacco for… etc.

Let’s say that in me there is a predisposition. I am, with my grotesque need for validation, the ideal subject to fall for to the economy of likes.

Monday, April 18, 2020

Unable to focus, as the addict that I am, I am forced to rely on supplements: Video on YouTube: «3 hours of gentle rain, rain sounds for relaxing, sleep, insomnia, meditation, study…», all in an effort to isolate myself and conjure up a focused presence that keeps fleeing, shattered. My brain is constantly expelling itself, violently escaping its center. Yes, it is violent: an explosion. My brain-grenade, and the shards wound me with nostalgia for a less fractured self. But I don’t bleed out, I keep thinking and the new thoughts run in opposite directions as soon as they are born. I, Prometheus and I, the vultures and I, the oozing guts.

I try to read Morirás lejos by José Emilio Pacheco, while at the same time there are fifteen tabs open in my browser: 9 books, a Wikipedia article, an article about billionaires in The Atlantic, a page about coronavirus in Animal Político, an image of The Seventh Seal and the aforementioned rain sounds video. In the meantime I also downloaded: Bloom’s Western Canon, Benjamin’s Unpacking My Library and Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal and Spleen de Paris (curious: 3 «B»s).

Pure schizophrenia. The self shattered. I think therefore I think therefore I think and therefore I never exist.