I had thought to write a post, introducing a new character, the Prophet. Something utterly original, a new slant, a strange, effective beginning. But upon rereading the post, I could see that it was too obvious, too didactic, too contrived. And while Art is always “contrived” in a sense, it should never show that part of itself. It should never be obvious.
So, how to write a new series of “wisdom” literature? How to include a new kind of prophet, one who turns ancient texts upside down? Or, rather, turns Nietzsche upside down after he tortured the ancient texts this way and that. Turns Kafka upside down after he drove the Talmud meshugah. Turns Dogen upside down after he stretched and bundled and merged Indian Buddhism with Chinese Taoism. Turns Marx and Van Gogh and Freud into pretzels after they whipped class, nature and the unconscious into dynamite.
And how to do all of this without dropping names like they’re bloody going out of style?
No. No. No!!! I’m not asking for much. Just everything and nothing. Just an end to all opposites — because that’s what I always do. You know, the usual fare. Five for a dollar. Except on Tuesdays, when we throw in angst and ennui as a belated, albeit obligatory, hosanna. That is, if it’s not raining cats and dogs, in which case we break out the ukeleles and rock out like The Rolling Zeppelins!!
I am forever in your debt, Boris Vian …
Blessed are the secret sharers, for they know the meaning of life.
Blessed are the artfully indirect, for they compel others to question themselves.