Wednesday, October 18, 2006

On Solitude

From classfellow J.S., here is the quotation pertinent to Coleridge from Samuel Beckett (via "Samuel Beckett and the Impossibility of Personal Meaning," A Philosophy of Boredom, Lars Svendsen, 95):
Friendship is a social expedient, like upholstery or the distribution of garbage buckets. It has no spiritual significance. For the artist, who does not deal in surfaces, the rejection of friendship is not only reasonable, but a necessity. Because the only possible spiritual development is in the sense of depth. The artistic tendency is not expansive, but a contraction. And art is the apotheosis of solitude. There is no communication because there are no vehicles of communication. Even on the rare occasions when word and gesture happen to be valid expressions of personality, they lose their significance on their passage through the cataract of the personality that is opposed to them. Either we speak and act for ourselves - in which case speech and action are distorted and emptied of their meaning by an intelligence that is not ours, or else we speak for others - in which case we speak and act a lie.

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