April 19, 2009

What I am proudest of is having a life where work and love are impossible to tell apart.


On Facebook I just learnt that J.G. Ballard died. (A writer who was very important to me when I was young.) Then a few moments later I learned that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick had also died, about a week ago:


(Perhaps Facebook is a good place to think about one's morality after all.) (Or at least as good as any.)

I heard Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick speak once a very long time ago, I think it might be about fifteen years ago now. I remember one thing she said quite clearly about academia. Something like: 'some academics say that The Simpsons is subversive, and then other academics say: no, actually The Simpsons subverts subversivity and therefore is not subversive at all, and you can just keep going on like that forever and get absolutely nowhere.' I don't remember much else about her talk that afternoon but I do remember I found it striking and in many ways something about her approach and attitude has really stayed with me. Afterwards I read her books and, at the time, was very much impressed by them.

At the end of the above link, knowing that she is going to die, she tells her therapist: "What I am proudest of is having a life where work and love are impossible to tell apart."

I wonder very much if, at the end, I'll be able to say the same thing, or anything even vaguely similar. I'm nervous that I won't but nonetheless hope that I will.

(And of course such a sentence makes me think very much of you, who knows very well the enormous joys and difficulties of such an attempt.)


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