Sunday, October 02, 2005

indifference is anything but indifferent. it's a passive aggressive sort of reaction to inferences. I'm reminded of Ambrose Bierce, re Incompassible: "Unable to exist if something else exists. Two things are incompossible when the world of being has scope enough for one of them, but not enough for both -- as Walt Whitman's poetry and God's mercy to man. Incompossibility, it will be seen, is only incompatibility let loose. Instead of such low language as "Go heel yourself -- I mean to kill you on sight," the words, "Sir, we are incompossible," would convey an equally significant intimation and in stately courtesy are altogether superior." Auden comes to mind as a writer I never bothered to read. I have read Eliot, but never approached him with even minimal generosity. one can't read everything, so there's no guilt in leaving someone out. still, it is a platform of ignorance, however modest. what struck me about Robert Grenier as a teacher, his curiosity entered everything he read. I can't see a virtue in indifference, only a necessity.
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