I am Searching for Italy

A picture of the Rhone at Condrieu.

The tragic simulation of tragedy.” It’s a perfect description of over dramatization of the news by the news. If it is being reported, it is news. If it is news, it deserves superlatives. Tragic. It makes me want to parody myself before I become a parody of myself.

The arrogance of the italics annoys me. It feels like the author, Yannick Haenel (whose first person I have borrowed for the title of this post), wants to be sure his clever phrase is noticed. I have been waiting 59 pages for something clever. I still need to underline it to keep it noticeable.

It feels like I am reading a book version of my blog. Except it is better written. And it is in French.

The underlining 24 pages later is not competing with italics. “Politics is always disappointing, impure and broken down. It is impossible for it to live up to the demands that make it necessary.” It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s lament that “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” It complements it.

I read his thoughts about Berlusconi and think Trump. “When no one has shame – when shame has been defeated –, vulgarity begins, in other words, crime.

I further qualify my comparison to him. We do both like to comment on our current reading though he gets invited to lecture about it. And he is more into painting than I am. Including religious art. Seeing a Madonna by Fra Angelico is a treat for Yannick Haenel.

I check if I can add his hypothesis on ecstasy to my ideas of sustainable hedonism. He wants to break through the limits of experience by living everything all at once. He wonders if the unidimensional life would allow him to remove himself from the market that society has become. I decide that experience would vanish if it were an all encompassing simultaneous event.

I keep his answer to the objection that it would require a saint to avoid the temptation of the market. “Someone who wants to ignore ecstasy is an incomplete being whose thoughts are reduced to analysis.” It is a fun reply to those who object to hedonism.

6 thoughts on “I am Searching for Italy”

  1. So many things to ponder on this one, I fear sounding the idiot. But I shall go forth anyway!
    That first line though. I hate to admit that everything is over-sensationalised now. Bloody hell, even the weather has become superlatively everything (all for naught in most cases).
    As for experiencing everything all at once, for me, would defeat the purpose. If we want to enjoy life and all that brings us joy, I would much rather have a continuous of “new” mixed in with “old”, rather than be overwhelmed by “all” and losing the ecstasy because it is too much. One huge orgasm vs the possibility of a bunch of smaller and multiple orgasms seems like a no-brainer to me 😉

    1. Some of the names for the weather events really surprise me and I wonder how many are new: I had never heard of a “bomb cyclone” before this year.

      I am not sure I would have used the same example as you for the all at once ;). Though I do have the body in mine, e.g. All the things the body is doing all the time is amazing and not noticed (except when it stops working), i.e. because it is happening all the time and all at once, it is not experienced.

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