The Delights of My Autopsy
[A Short Story]
Considering what it is I write and perhaps why it is I write what I do when I do; considering context for the writing, the where, the when, the to-whom I write–what? What should come next? To write or not to write has been my be or not, which is always, as another self has said, to be or to become. The Myth of me–not intended to raise the specter of falseness–myths are true stories, myths are always cosmogonic. Yes, kosmogonia.
How is everything and not in the writing–everything is there for the reader who does not waste his time superficially skimming the pages of the text, the story, the essay, the novel, the treatise, the whatever have you in hand, on the page, on the screen, how do computer screens change reading, how did the typewriter change writing, you could also ask? How did film montage change narrative form, structure? And it did. You do not imagine that Kuleshov and Eisenstein have nothing to do with Joyce and Faulkner and Woolf, do you?
Style is developed, it evolves, it does not happen right away, even among the most mature writers. What I have to say here has been a consideration of mine since I have taken up the task of writing, as I have been writing for a literary review dedicated to the literary essay and short fiction, as they have been and even were before I came to work for the review. What I have to say, which is have . . . to say, not have to . . . say–you get what I mean, no? Too many tangents I would hear some of you say if I were imagine appropriately. Here then let me begin as I imagine I should, if I have not already begun what I have intended by having begun with the consideration of considering form.
Beauty, as I have already concluded elsewhere in other texts I have authored, as the Romans too understood, cannot exist without form, except in a modified Greek understanding of absolute forms. The Romans and the Greeks did differ on the representation of beauty; go to the Met and walk among the Roman and Greek statuary and see. Beauty manifests as this beauty or that beautiful something we do not need to name at present. I could extend any of the questions that might be asked about what I intend in the pages I write, I am always writing beyond the limits of one essay or another, one story or one poem and another and another–God the variations of form that happen there, in my poetry—I write and I write and I write, ah! the walking shadows that appear, or that not, as I am also eternally absent from Me?
How do shadows talk? I do not ask. What do they say? I do not wonder. Saying so much over the years in notebook after notebook–it is there I do ask the questions that keep coming,never endingly? Forever and eternity are mutually exclusive, you must know. And what is anyone’s blog but an extension of one’s notebooks, what we used to keep in journals. Curiously we are not more guarded when we write in blogs, or is that because the internet and blogging have appealed to people with much lower literacy than journal writing appeals to . . . journal writers traditionally and for the most part have been much more literate than most people blogging today–a prejudice I hold, I know. But it may still be true even if I hold to it out of prejudice.
I have written many essays, stories, poems, critiques in a variety of styles for a variety of purposes for a variety of audiences–know your audience. More than ten thousand pages have accumulated . . . mock by one piece of shit Harvard Graduate I have crossed paths with successively over time . . . as if he actually knew something.
I could continue any questioning far beyond where I take my inquiries in the essays I publish in the pages section of my website, fit only for those who understand what we once called literary tradition. Style shifts for need, of course. What more should I ask? I am what you read, my hypocrite readers; I am everything and everyone there; every essay, every word, every title, every post, every video/film, each photograph you might see. Could I apply this fore mentioned literary approach to subjects as diverse as from language and linguistics to epistemology and ethics? Yes. From history to law to then again historiography? For certain. Or to reading and writing in the most general application? I imagine so. From painting and sculpting to the state of theater in America? Why hesitate with a reply? I can write five hundred words on anything, even the things I have no idea about at all–you write from the pov of not knowing and the potential for discovering.
From blogging, to Orthodox Jewish landlords in my building diminishing maintenance services correlative with the rise in Muslim tenants in the compound where these Orthodox Jewish landlords are allowed, by the City that governs the housing they own, to act as they wish, or do not wish, and with impunity? Yes. And I address all of these and then so much more, but how is always ever present. What is the rhetorical edge I am going to use and will it cut appropriately? Rhetoric must cut. I need to wield a scalpel’s blade. Surgery in satire is better than butchery.
My pen is my scalpel, of course (an image I have read elsewhere, I forget, I think it was in a poem by Jay Ruvolo); memory at times is a knife that cuts . . . could I address in tones more sober than Mayor Frumpberg was a large Orwellian pig–in direct contrast to his diminutive staure and mousy nature before the media? Of course I could–but I would still need to tread gently. Did Frumpberg let landlords off their leashes? I could say that he did, but to what effect when most of what we have in the media has conditioned us to be hyper polite to the extent that we are psychopathically polite to the extent that others then think Donald’s rudeness and crudeness is what is necessary and an organic bearer of Truth?
Yes, of course we–that means I–could address all of these things, and I do understand that some might say that these conclusions are not matters of course; but I insist that there are self-evident necessities that must be phrased as we do, as I do–this review is not mine–it is me; I am the review. Thus, whatever it is that we will do, I will do; whatever we do, I do; whatever is done has been done by me. So, when I ask what I can do in my writing, I am of course posing the question as we like to say rhetorically. But as I have said before in other essays and herein, rhetoric is an edge that cuts. Is it though, the meat cleaver, or the surgeon’s scalpel, I will use.
Surgery, I will perform; or, is it autopsy. Writers are sometimes coroners. But who am here: I am me, the man I am, but I cannot forget that the man I am is a plurality, not a singularity. I am we, of course, not just in the way I know that all the world is a stage, and like Jacques, I know that each of us plays many parts, not only the roles that advancing through age demand, but the roles created because I am not the same man when I speak to my neighbor as I am when I speak to my mother, nor have ever been the same man speaking to my mother as I have been speaking to my father, not the same man I am speaking to my father as I am speaking to any of my close male friends, not the same speaking to any of them as I am speaking to any woman who has been my lover, not the same speaking to one of them as to another or another or another of them, or speaking to any woman classmate in any college class I have had, not the same to any one of them as I am to any other one of them, nor as I am speaking to a woman friend who is not a lover or a lover who is not a friend, or to an elderly woman on the train, or a woman police officer, or a woman professor of my Victorian Lit class.
How could we not be many, plural; each of us is we, a multiplication of selves by the plurality of them in each Self, each person building a Self of many selves out of the experience and the givens of his or her life, no? I am not the same man I was last week, nor will I be the same man tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, sometimes being an idiot, even. Just remember, a metaphysics that tries to undermine metaphysics is virtually suicidal; any philosophy rooted in doubt as the highest wisdom is doomed; any philosophy that eschews universals transforms the believers and the speakers–the lovers of this pseudo-wisdom–into idiots. Yes, as Aristotle warned us, any man without general or social concerns is an Idiot; thus, the emptying of universals, especially espousing the belief that there is no universal Human Nature, has made of us a special kind of Idiots. No? I imagine you think otherwise; but then otherwise is sometimes simply other than wisdom.