[ this post is for Cath Styles, who has been thinking bridges ]
My blog-friend PR Beckman, on a roll, has been tweeting Octavio Paz and Martin Esslin.
I’ve taken Beckman’s tweets out of 140 characters and put them back into paragraphs, and given a little more context to some of them, but greatly though I admire Octavio Paz and much though I have puzzled over the Theater of the Absurd, I wouldn’t have run across these particular passages if I hadn’t found them in my Twitter feed today. Important.
Analogy is the science of correspondences. It is, however, a science which exists only by virtue of differences. Precisely because this is not that, it is possible to extend a bridge between this and that. The bridge does not do away with distance: it is an intermediary; neither does it eliminate difrerences: it establishes a relation between different terms. Analogy is the metaphor in which otherness dreams of itself as unity, and difference projects itself illusively as identity. By means of analogy the confused landscape of plurality becomes ordered and intelligible. Analogy is the operation nby means of which, thanks to the play of similarities, we accept differences. Analogy does not elimiate differences: it redeems them, it makes their existence tolerable.
Martin Esslin, The Theatre of the Absurd, pp 419:
the Theatre of the Absurd is concerned essentially with the evocation of concrete poetic images designed to communicate to the audience the sense of perplexity that their authors feel when confronted with the human condition
The realization that thinking in poetic images has its validity side by side with conceptual thought and the insistence on a clear recognition of the function and possibilities of each mode does not amount to a return to irrationalism; on the contrary, it opens the way to a truly rational attitude.
Let me add a quote of my own choosing, this one from Winnie the Pooh:
Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.