Monday, May 17, 2010

Is It Worth It?

"I wonder whether what we are publishing now is worth cutting down trees to make paper for the stuff."
Richard Brautigan


  1. Don´t worry about consumption of trees for the production of paper. For this we have got a well organized chain of recycling and softwood grows again fast.
    More distressing is, when we settle on our deckchairs made of tropical wood – as I will do this afternoon due to the ultimate arrival of the sun in northern Germany.

  2. God afternoon my dear friends. Goethe once said, that one had to be aware of 3000 years of history (like Raoul Schrott), Another time he said - appreciating - "Amerika hat es leichter", he meant, history can also be ballast, and that America can move with more easyness than Europe.

    But both the conditions have benefits and downsides. The lack of mature identity can be one of the more frequent disadvantages in America. And someone like Brautigan has to be imbedded in a rich tradition. He is exaggerating, but I understand his grief.

    In Italy many bookshops keep only the production of the last weeks (to many artists = bad art is a formula one cannot change, I am sorry). 2 years after the first publishing it is mostly impossible to find a good contemporanean book anymore (if it didn't become a bestseller), because it will be off sold, even if it is a good guide on botany. If you open a shop selling only books which are older than 3 years, you have to specialize in classics and sell 40% abroad by correspondence. But these are the real books: they will be read in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, some of them in 100 years and in 200 years or even later.

    Brautigan wouldn't have found enough time to read all the books written in the past, which are truely worth reading today.

    In America the situation is even worse than in Italy, and the reluctance to learn foreign languages has produced an allarming degree of intellectual monocropping. It is like with the bees which are carried with trucks for thousands of miles through the USA...

    Brautigan seems to be of german descent, not only because of his name, but because of his mentality. A mentality finds always a way to glide down descent, accompanying and surprising the descendants. Or by patterns of Gestaltwahrnehmung and the borders of free association, or by race (use Occam's Razor to cut away the explanation you do NOT like). Maybe he would have felt finer growing up in Germany.

    It is hard to combine enternainment AND truth. But this is the best choice.

  3. Weltschmerz

    "Accidit etiam ingeniosis adulescentibus frequenter, ut labore consumantur et in silentium descendant nimia bene dicendi cupiditate." Marcus Fabius Quintilianus

  4. And for that reason we invented the internet ;)