Monday, July 07, 2014

quote unquote

Those who prefer their principles over their happiness, they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness. If they are happy by surprise, they find themselves disabled, unhappy to be deprived of their unhappiness.

--albert camus [from notebooks - 1951 - 1959]
forwarded to me by my friend the poet tim kahl in response to our ongoing discussion about art, unhappiness and happiness


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Richard said...

I would, in the main, follow Dr. Wayne Dyer, who says (and it is true to a large extent) that one can choose to be happy.

If (as many people are) one is overburdened by darkness to the extent things cant be done or relationships dont work, the principles, whatever they are, are to be discarded vigorously for being maximally (or optimally) happy as in general one is healthier and better, and such a state of 'creative aliveness' is better than the perhaps equally valid (in some philosophic sense) idea of the dark brooding introspective stuff (which is more or less where I was in 1967 when I suffered a nervous breakdown).

But I like Camus's 'The Outsider' Fascinating book.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

i agree that being happy is a better state of being than being miserable. there are states of misery where we can't help it. i too had a nervous breakdown in my late teens. i suffered a great deal and recovery was a slow, arduous process. but even in the midst of horror we can possess our lives. i do not propose a naive happiness. i suggest a transgressive joy that acknowledges and even revels in the state of fucked up-ness.

At 3:22 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Yes. My departure from my romantic angst was pushed by the idea that while everything seemed meaningless sub specie, if I stayed 'in the dark' I would miss out on life.

Dyer is self-help chap but he doesn't mean a naive happiness. He means really that people be more in control and not in such state that they cant operate. So the test of any negative state is whether it prevents one from doing what one wants. So you are "happy" if you need that state of 'transgressive joy' or even a kind of (hopefully energetic! nihilism, as such things might be where you need to be so to speak).

As a young man though, I didn't write (some years after my breakdown) and as I had a family I was quite happy as a Lineman and simply a family man. Then a dark period later.

But now with three children and grandchildren full grown "madness" of say a Berryman, Wieners, or Celan and Kafka or whoever is not for me. Some writers seem to live quite "sunny" lives and still create great works. Stevens, Ashbery, probably Marrianne Moore our own Kendrick Smithyman, or say Alan Curnow (which is not that they didn't deal with dark or transgressive issues in their lives and work...

On thing for sure, they all read a lot. And none avoid the "darkness" or they wouldn't be interesting. But they move in and out of the shade...


Post a Comment

<< Home