Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hypoactive Fido

A hypoactive thyroid may be partly responsible for my feeling old and worn out, as well as for a certain slowness of thought and depression that has been at least once rather too close to being in a coma. How fitting then that I've been reading Jean Améry's On Aging, which reads something like a prelude to a suicide note. I want to reach out to the person who left this text so much that I can feel it in my arms. This is where I am reading, in half of an embrace, one of the simpler dimensions that never quite vanishes. The withdrawal of the author from the text—is this something I am aware of acutely and suddenly, or could I possibly be misdiagnosing what it's been like to read Améry? I feel his person there amidst the text through his absence? Has he finally withdrawn from his absence? No, I fear I am misplacing agency. Whose image is projected there amidst the text? Are they his words or mine? Is my withdrawal from the words that have been given to me necessary if I am to feel connected to the person who gave them to me? Agency may mislead us into thinking that in any given instance of reading only one person can be responsible, that only one person acts (at a time—it's hard to think synkairotically). I should like to take full responsibility for what I read, and how I read, but am I really alone in all of this? Why should we think that the withdrawal of the author from the text is also a withdrawal of the person? Oh, I imagine a person detached from these words, undeniably, and yet I encounter another imagination, I have been given to encounter a person, a who who speaks through words, relinquishing them, continuing to relinquish them even after death. Is relinquishment a silent partner to my reading? To my imagination? Has responsibility itself been relinquished, a sacrifice one makes for the sake of relinquishment, for the sake of reading?

(It'll take a few weeks for the meds to kick in, after which point I'll have to find another excuse for not blogging so much.)

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posted by Fido the Yak at 3:43 PM. 7 comments