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2005-04-08 - 1:24 p.m.

Picking up a book by Hegel or by Levinas and reading a page at random, I am struck by the feeling that, in order to write in such a fashion, one would have to be at least partly insane.
Yet, there are great truths that are identified by these people which makes them worth reading... by wrestling with their turgid prose you find things that wouldn't come to you in any other way.
This makes me think that perhaps the job of a philosopher is in some sense like that of a pearl diver... you descend into the depths of the ocean, somewhere dark and mad, looking for this little glinting piece of truth... inevitably you lose something down there. I know half the time I'm afraid to talk about my thesis because I think I will sound mad. But you go down as deep as you can anway, because if you succeed then you'll be able to bring something to the light which will shine when it gets there...
The metaphor sort of breaks down, though, when I think that... some of the writers never make it all the way back up. They become mermaids or naiiads or somesuch; the great truths in Hegel are still so deep in madness that you have to go a lot of the way down there with him to even have a clue as to what he's talking about...
Well, enough for today. I have the ordinary madness of daily life to deal with, too. ;)
"There are so many things there
To be feared" - Loudon Wainwright III

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