Sunday, October 7, 2012

What is a book, but the ghost of another man's mind?


I came across this bit of writing from over a year ago. I thought it was somewhat witty...albeit weird. Judge for yourself:


     All of us, myself in particular, are terrified of saying something that will sound foolish, or worse, not astonish the entire room. I parody and paraphrase, parroting to put a finer point on it. I wish to be clever and all things witty and relevant, yet at the same time I want to fit in and be "normal." If I wrote half the things that passed through my extra ordinary brain, people would die of shock. Yes, I'd get my wish: it would astonish the entire room.
     I don't know what drove me to do it, other than pride, but I wrote something quite abominably astonishing the other day. There I'm editing again as I go, a dangerous pastime for the Muse. Anyhow, back to my foolish astoundment (those red lines do murder the soul, do they not?) or astonishment, to be quite redundant and unimaginative: I was writing in my chamber and thought to write all things scandalous. Says I, "If it's in my head, I might as well commit it to paper."
     And so I wrote. 
     I wrote all things vulgar and trivial. All things vile and perverse, I wrote them as well. Then, reading it to an assembly of my general acquaintance, I found that the prose, though not lacking in corruption, was in fact not corrupt in the ears of the beholders. Their astonishment? That is was not more vulgar, base, trivial, perverse and viler and that I thought it thus. But that is general opinion, is it not? I would not know. My opinion, apparently, is not general. I flatter myself to be a bit above and beneath my company all at once, a great feat only a great mind could undertake. I am above them, in that my moral standard must come to a higher pinnacle. I am lower in that of the same. Good and bad have become rather subjective in these direly dull days. Alliteration, how preposterous. Again with the red and green lines. Have some compassion on  my poor soul…and nerves, while you're at it. 
     Computer, whatever ghost you may be of another man's mind, I am freeing myself tonight. I am writing chain and thought of consciousness, unconsciously, I confess, to reason, for I think and edit in my mind even as I do not—well, as I BARELY do in physicality. Ridiculous, says I, I am channeling a fop and I am not even… Confused.

     What is a book, but the ghost of another man's mind? 

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