Monday, October 29, 2012

Fresh Insights & Bursts of Clueness

"Just how fresh are these insights?"
Favorite New Yorker Cartoon from the 1980s

Uh . . . good question!
For this month, here are
some of my favorite insights
-- all in question form, of course! --
The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?
by Padgett Powell

One thing for sure -- this book is FULL of fresh insights!

I greatly enjoyed reading Powell's questions and formulating answers silently in my head, as well as reading various questions aloud to anyone who would listen. Near the end of the so - called novel (?), the author asks the reader to consider a few things:

Does is change things a bit for you to perceive
that these questions want you bad?
And that they are perhaps independent of me, to some degree?
That they are somewhat akin to, say, zombies of the interrogative mood?" (113)

If you're ready to face the interrogative zombies, please, read on . . .

80: “Is all of life clueless, or is most of it clueless with momentary bursts of clueness, or is it a spectrum of cluelessness to clueness on which people reside at various points, and are the points at which people reside on the spectrum of cluelessness fixed or variable? . . . what I meant was can you slide up and down the spectrum of cluelessnes to clueness like a trombone or do you toot your one more or less dumb note all the livelong day?"

81 - 82: "Is there in your opinion life after death? Is there death then before life? Wouldn't it be possible to get life and death mixed up and not be exactly clear what is what and when when?"

32 - 33, 120: "Do you have trouble throwing things away? If so, do you ever retrieve them after a period of anxiety over the throwing away? Is it then easier or more difficult than the first time to throw the thing away a second time? Do you have a limit for this kind of behavior? . . . Do you have any impulse to wish that everything you own could somehow without overmuch trauma be made to disappear?

109 - 110: "How many people per hundred would you say are asses? Should non - asses have to put up with asses? Should asses have to put up with non - asses? Who deserves less having to endure the other? Does it seem that by definition an ass is not so bothered by things as a non - ass? Is it fair to say, in fact, that asses are the unbothered and non - asses are the bothered? Do you think the bothered were really meant to inherit the earth?

127: "Are you preintellectual, anti - intellectual, intellectual, or postintellectual?