Nov. 6th, 2016

proximoception: (Default)
Something very Kafkan about Hamlet. How the inkling of an ideal realm devalues the real one. Plato's extra-cave world as white elephant, though mostly Plato's attacked via Christianity, his active representative in Shakespeare's world. But not an attack in the name of realism; reality's already been destroyed by the inkling, which is in turn destroyed by reality. And yet every morning we wake up to both. Fortinbrases proving the impossibility of Hamlets and vice versa. One morning Hamlet Dane woke up to find himself put under arrest by his father's ghost.

Sometimes I suddenly remember specific strip malls in distant cities. I recall them far too well.

The weed metaphor in Hamlet is a key one. Weeds imply that a better plant should grow here. But nothing can ever grow here but weeds. Therefore better plants should not grow here. Lilies that fester smell far worse, and idealized fathers, mothers, maidens and soldiers are all lilies. Heavens need no Hells, since any Heaven makes a Hell of Earth. For this reason Hell is depicted underground, Heaven high above our heads, a shining picture beyond an abyss. But we cannot forget it because we are that abyss. To infinite space a world of things can seem a bad dream. Sending away for a better class of thing, though, is not a solution. Becoming one oneself even less so. Killing to become a good son, killing to become a king - same difference, neither works. The barrier between what we'd have and what we do have invites metaphors of violence as much as it does sex/marriage. More than metaphors, in fact; ways to confuse them with the change we truly wish are sought, as those barriers seem at least crossable.

Though prove not, of course. It isn't you that's dead, since there's then no you, for the one. For the other, you're never married enough. Coition's but a revolving door. Our bodies can die or be pregnant, but we only partially so. Mostly pregnant at most and mostly dead.

You see why Lawrence sniffed for venereal disease. But Shakespeare's suggesting that life's one, for the princely (in blood or ambition). A kingdom being the ultimate pyramid scheme ... next to reproduction. Don't break the chain or something bad will happen. Swim upstream far enough and nothing can.

"Nothing" is a big one too. Creation ab nihilo. The promise of getting nil back. We overstate and understate, so miss our little world. But that was the point - to miss it. With an earth-sized target - complete with gravity - the real trick's missing at all. Perhaps the ideal's real appeal is its being unreal, not the promise of a rewrite. Like death might be if it weren't such an obvious trick.


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