OK, so this weeks directed reading referred to the Kundera chapter on Broch's trilogy of novels The Sleepwalkers. I've read this passage three times now and am still struggling to draw a coherent thread together. Firstly I'm going to summarise what I think I understand. I needed a dictionary on page 1 - ontological: a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of being. Right, so the discourse is about perspective and composition. Salvador Dali's painting Swans Reflecting Elephants seems appropriate to this theme.
2. Anarchy. the world divides into the kingdom of Good and the kingdom of Evil, but alas, both are equally impossible to identify.
3. Realism. the absence of moral imperatives is his freedom, his deliverance.
4. absolute of the serious.
5. absolute of the non serious.
I believe that this is a valid perspective, but somewhat limited and rather negative, and I would specifically argue against the definitions of anarchy and realism and replace these with 'bewilderment' and 'narcissism' respectively.
Kundera appears to be writing form a Marxist/new historicist point of view, paying particular attention to the role of literature through socio-economic consequences post-communism. This approach identifies some very interesting components of fiction, however the discernment of value is weighed in reference to power structures and specific responses to the external complexities of the world. I think the thing I have a problem with is the implied victim mentality, I just don't buy the philosophy that all life is suffering and the ultimate objective is to articulate in the face of doom.
Even if I did agree, this is still only looking from one angle and seeing that this weeks theme is 'Possibilities' I would like to widen the scope from five options. So here is an interview with my favourite quantum activist, talking about the nature of possibilities.
To truly engage with the concept of possibilities I believe there is a necessity for humility; to admit what we know and don't know. I prefer to be part of the mystery, this 'Mumford & Sons' song Awake My Soul sums it up perfectly for me;