I began my post graduate studies in English Honours – Unfortunately it was a time in my life when studies came second to clubbing, traveling and dying my hair weird and wonderful colours. It will always be a regret of mine that I didn’t complete my year, but I know one day I will return. One of my favorite subjects and sources of inspiration and meaning was in learning about Existentialism. It was taught to us through books like Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead –about the two seemingly insignificant characters in Hamlet and then in Waiting for Godot – a brilliant play by Samuel Beckett. From this I developed an interest in Sartre and Nietzsche and then an unquenchable thirst for an entire history of philosophy. I love how philosophy and history can be experienced through literature. I definitely feel out of touch and strangely enough it was an episode of Swingtown which I was half listening to last night which reminded me of the “Authentic Self” There is so much pseudo psychology, Opera endorsed sentimental, self praising bullshit out there. I find great comfort in thinking about these old guys and their quest for meaning - not often finding any!I remember doing some internet research all those years ago and the thrill I felt discovering some references to existentialism – tonight I fully realise how information has exploded – endless information available on any subject. There is simply no excuse for ignorance of any kind! I almost feel as though I have no business writing about a school of thought so heavily researched and debated.
"Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism."
Jean-Paul Sartre 1946
It is good to start thinking about this again. I feel as though my life has become smaller over the years and this man has had a detrimental effect on how I regard life and reality. It is good to start to feel free again, even though it is just formulating in my mind. I have to start somewhere. There is nothing I want to do more right now than to curl up in bed with a book – but tragically exams start again on Tuesday!