The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


fiction, passage


i am addicted to novels. i am reading journey to
the west. wonderful elements of taoism. magical
taoism whick killed the emperor. ennin wrote
about that. you see the emperor was taking magic
elixirs to live for ever. but no one lives
forever! monkey is in it but it reads very
differently in the full version than in waley's
condensation. also five taoist classics which
contains the chinese; i can make out a sentence
or two. the character for 'between' is useful.

most popular novels are pretty bad. plots are
exaggerated and you have to be a dunce to fall
for the willing suspension of disbelief. things
are added in incoherency in order to manipulate
the reader. the world is picaresque; these novels
are not. there are always criminals teasing
lawmakers because we know that criminals want to
be caught. they are criminals! and there are
conspiracies as well; nothing exists in terms of
appearance only. it's magical belief! elixir! it
kills.

as does the addiction itself. my head fills with
swollen emptiness. no exaggeration, it will go
off with a bang. so i'm turning to mencius; he's
got cases, anecdotes, and questioning that can
only remind one of xenophon's socrates. for there
are many socrates, the world splits as well.

are you aware that i'm nearer to death than you
are? soon i will see inconceivable things, things
you might dream of forever. the world will turn
dark and these words will be all that's left.


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