Thursday, 02 October 2008

Necessary Colourful contemplation

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!


7 comments:

po said...

I am studying philosophy part time myself, and I just love it! I don't understand it much but it still blows my mind. I like existentialism too, but have not studied it much yet. But I have learned about Nietzche and that was fascinating.

302 said...

if you are gonna be small then be nimble enough to think big every now and again.

takes time for these little things to seep in though - you'll get there in the end and good luck with the exams.

DT said...

Po - I am so jealous, you must keep up your studies! I don't even think you need to understand that fully, it is the kind of subject that sort of evolves into this life long contemplation.
Have you read Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder? It is a wonderful backdrop for philosophy - it really gave me some wonderful context!

DT said...

Thanks 302! Have a great weekend!

po said...

I did read sophie's world, it definitely lost me a bit. Maybe it would make more sense now!

DT said...

Dont worry - it took me ages and a lot of note taking before I saw any kind of light!

Have a great weekend Po!

302 said...

thanks you to