Monday, January 26, 2009

Coming together

I've always found solace in the "beat" writers. And I think Gary Snyder is a good place to start with regards to tying the readings for this week together.
And so to begin with Snyder:

"We can enjoy our humanity with its flashy brains and sexual buzz, its social cravings and stubborn tantrums, and take ourselves as no more and no less than another being in the big Watershed. We can accept each other all as barefoot equals sleeping on the same ground. We can give up hoping to be eternal and quit fighting dirt..." (84)

Forrestor and Huxley's societies say: no,no we can't.

While their pro/an tagonists say "yes" in different degrees: Kuno who isn't quite sure about acceptance and others...just difference..and space within which "things" (whatever they are) are possible. And Helmholtz and John the savage who say yes to parts but not to the whole of the statement. The Savage - yes to "taking ourselves as no more and no less than another being.. and accept[ing] each other all as barefoot individuals sleeping on the same ground"..etc. Helmholtz as yes to "flashy brains and sexual buzz, it's social cravings and stubborn tantrums.."

And then on to the second part

"...The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford streams and cross the ridges, and tell a good story when we get home."

Huxley via Bernard seems to agree with the "tell a good story when we get home" bit but ignores the learning and the necessary nods that are part of the experience.

Forrestor via Kuno seems to agree with the learning and the nods, the fording of streams and the crossing of ridges, and in telling a good story; however, unfinished it is.
But then there is Kuno's mother and the greater part of Forrestor's society who says no to all "direct experience"

And in Huxley, Lenina with her soma addiction to soften the blow of anything not in agreement with her ordered state of reality especially so when in touch with "the wild" on her excursion to Malpais and interactions with the savage states quite explicitly "no" to Snyder's new "cultural ethic of the wild" (82) And we mustn't forget Mond - internally conflicted - Mond who though acknowledging the benefits highlighted in Snyder's quote finds his freedom as being more important than telling a true...self involved vs divorced story. (I'm thinking the linda stary here)

And throughout all of the above Lefebrvre's idea echos incessantly within the outcasts Kuno and John with regards to how they see the society which has or seeks to exclude or incorporate them into the system:
"The concepts of desire and pleasure were not to be conceived as categories of the impossible, a “bad” utopia, but were an expression of a wider recognition among intellectuals, workers, students and other elements of the underlying population that the emptiness of lived experience demanded a revolutionary transformation of everyday life as the condition of the possibility for the achievement of freedom which remains the highest aspiration of social being."(143)