Friday, May 05, 2006

gravity always wins

I am sitting with Hanif Kureishi. Its Wednesday. I am facing the sea, backlit by the first true sun of the year. Together we consider what it is to write - the whys as much as the hows. We currently ponder the difference between literature and philosophy - and Mr Kureishi points out -

‘Reading a novel was like being with a fascinating person who was showing you their world. For me, philosophy was another kind of concentration. Theories seemed ways of creating apprehension. I found that it is not always answers you find here, but better questions.’

Suddenly this delicious thought is interrupted by a hand forcing a small leaflet into my smaller hand. A leaflet printed on poor quality paper and emblazoned with a Hollywood technicolour vision of hell.

A handout from everyones favourite door-to-door seller of redemption. As I study the people who look like they have been lobotomized by an overeager dentist, or drugged by radioactive fruit - I even begin to distrust the moose - is there not something overly knowing in that velvet smile?

And then I realize I recognise this paradise. Its Oz. Resplendent fakery. Somewhere there is a little man behind a curtain manically pressing buttons to manufacture this grand illusion of peace and harmony. And like Dorothy I feel a little sick, I want to go home, back to the black and white of Kansas. Back to my free-thinking meander through these monochrome pages.

If thinking of better questions is suffering then damn me to an eternity of philosophy.

1 comment:

fjl said...

Good starting point. Then there's research, and the land where some of the answers are. :-)

Nicely worded.