the simple minded suburbanite


Summer reading: Fahrenheit 451, II
August 23, 2011, 1:43 pm
Filed under: authenticity, culture, suburban, voluntary simplicity | Tags: ,

Three things that are missing:

“Number one:  Do you know why books such as this are so important?  Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean?  To me it means texture.  This book has pores.  It has features.  This book can go under the microscope.  You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion.  The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are.  That’s my definition, anyway.  Telling detail.  Fresh detail.  The good writers touch life often.  The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.

“So now do you see why books are hated and feared?  They show the pores in the face of life.  The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam.  Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from the chemistry of the earth.  Yet somehow we think we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the cycle back to reality.  Do you know the legend of Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth?  But when he was held rootless, in midair, by Hercules, he perished easily.  If there isn’t something in that legend for us today, in this city, in our time, then I am completely insane.

“Well, there we have the first thing I said we need.  Quality, texture of information.”

Thoughts?  In connection to nature?  In connection to consumption?  To simplicity?  To the richness of life that cannot be shellacked?  That can be dirty and rainy and porous?  In connection to the details?  To ourselves as “writers” of our own story.

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