Petty Paces

I remember my Dad reading MacBeth to me when I was a boy, one of the Folger Library editions we used to use in school, one of Julius Caesar we used in 7th grade. I was maybe 7 when my Dad read MacBeth to me . . . I remember noting that Faulkner had taken the title of his novel The Sound and the Fury from MacBeth’s soliloquy upon hearing of his wife’s death, how life is a tale told by an idiot, yes, an idiot’s story, full of sound and fury, of course, all stories told by idiots are full of both, signifying nothing . . .

The word ‘universality’ comes from the word ‘universe,’ or, in its etymology, one line. Yes, all universality is about one-lineness, a kind of singularity, or unilateral-ness . . . that is, everything linear, everything in a state of linearity, one dimensionality. But is this the the chief component of the universe, or what is uni-versal. Yes, universality exists thorugh an extension of another and another and another . . . all in the petty pace? Does universality have to go on in petty paces?

Again, we find the extension that is a line in what is universal, every line extends. Essential to the idea of a universe or something universal can be found in the term ‘another.’ There is an in perpetuity in what is universal. I wish I had a handle on my universe, this cosmos of mine, let alone this one of ours.


Unlike Hamlet’s undiscovered country, the death Macbeth faces is plebeian; it is ordinary in that it is the same death everyone meets. By this, Macbeth’s tyranny, his usurped kingship, is made low. To die is the final democratizer, everyone equal before the laws of Death. Level is flat, even thus balanced. What is in balance is of equal weight; Death is equal unto us all. Another and another and another passes, out, out brief candle . . . and who escapes Macbeth’s soliloquy on anotherness, how is life not full of sound and fury signifying nothing for every man and woman. There are no universals without extending another and another and another . . . all universality dependent on this state of anotherness.

Macbeth shares an association with this state of anotherness, perhaps born out of his state of otherness which derives from his choice to kill the king. Macbeth’s estrangement, his state of being other, other than who he was before the murder, other than what has become of the kingdom since the murder, both inward and outward states of otherness is intensified by his coming to grips with the banality of anotherness, a most fundamental anotherness in the days that creep so likely in their petty paces . . . tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creep in their petty paces to last syllable of recorded time.

The record from beginning to our doom, his doom, the end of all records reaffirming the likeness of day in day out existence repetition repetition repetition. Yes, all of our yesterdays, together, lumped as one, the great monolith of past time, the same yesterdays of everyone else that light every fool on his way to death, death the great and final anotherness of every one of us.


Rain, rain go away–we know where this is going; we know from where it has come–come again another day. Another day infers a day has been had before, that there is one from which an extension into another can be made. Another and an other do not seem to be so different. The former is made of the latter, but then children are made of their parents, we could say. There are limits to their sameness or even their similarities.

Otherness and anotherness are distinct, the latter sharing something of the former, while the former is apart from the latter. Separate is this other, always separate, exclusive even at times, in places, what situations could we draw to illustrate. Another is always possessed of something of the former in the series. Another is serial; other is not. Another makes a line; other is a point. Another primarily shares in and while other primarily shares in but. It is not as if you cannot say this and that other or you cannot say not this but another; you can. It’s just that I am speaking of their primary associative condition.

Come again another day, and I will explain it all to you.


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