Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way" -David Foster Wallace

The sunlight gets quartzy, the sun Southward; its slant creeps across Magda's dappled Orlon skirt, toward him. Mark Nechtr is just way luckier than she. He, silently, objects to just about everything. He has desires, though he doesn't yet know what for. He wishes he had the arrogant balls to just sit down and make up a story about the adult Magda, about the Reunion and the Funhouse franchise, Jack Lord, about Ambrose's supply of fried roses, his perverse reward for eating beauty, the special arrow he's lost but can't throw away. A song of tough love for a generation whose eyes have moved fish-like to the sides of its head, forward vision usurped by a numb need to survive the now, side-placed eyes scanning for any garde of which to be avant. In the story he wants to make up, the one that doesn't stab him, he'd be just an object–of irritation, accusation, desire: response. He wouldn't be a subject. Not that. Never that. To be a subject is to be Alone. Trapped. Kept from yourself. Nechtr and Sternberg and DeHaven Steelritter all know this horror: that you can kiss anyone's spine but your own. Make love to anybody or anything except...

But Mark can never know that other boys know this, too. He never talks about himself, see. This silence, for which he is loved, radiates cry-like from his central delusion and contemporary flaw. If his young companions have their own special delusions–D.L.'s that cynicism and naïveté are mutually exclusive, Sternberg's that a body is a prison and not a shelter--Mark's is that he's the only person in the world who feels like the only person in the world. It's a solipsistic delusion.

No comments:

Post a Comment