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with Death Reviews
If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance. You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within yourself the possibility of shaping and forming as a particularly happy and pure way of living; train yourself to it -- but take whatever comes with great trust, and only if it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your inmost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To a Young Poet
What Was Postmodernism?
At the Electronic Book Review Brian McHale has a new essay on postmodernism. He extracts quotations from Raymond Federman’s novel, Aunt Rachel’s Fur, of which the following is one.
So you find my novel too postmodern, wrong again Gaston, you’ve arrived too late, we are already beyond postmodernism, it’s dead, dead and gone, don’t you know, it’s been buried, where have you been, and that’s precisely the problem for literature today, now that postmodernism is dead, writers don’t know how to replace it, the disappearance of postmodernism was devastating for the writers, but it was not surprising, it was expected to happen for some time, the last gasp happened the day Samuel Beckett changed tense and joined the angels, I can give you an exact date if you want to, postmodernism died because Godot never came…
The essay leaves one with much to think about.