08 December 2009

Dyslit: In Conversation

Jamie: Have you ever read ‘The Razor’s Edge’?

Anna: Maugham right?

Jamie: Yep.

Anna: No.

Jamie: You should read it.

Anna: Maybe. I don’t normally read book recommendations. It’s the ultimate act of superiority, putting yourself in cahoots with the author, both of you saying, I know what’s best.

Jamie: That’s not…

I think you’d like it, is all.

Anna: Why don’t you paraphrase it for me?

Jamie: I can’t remember the whole story. I read it years ago.

Anna: No, just the bit that you felt I might relate to.

Jamie: Larry… rejects society, materialism, everything, in search of some transcendent meaning to life.

Happiness, without the jewellery I guess.

I think the reader is meant to assume he finds happiness in the end. I don’t think he does, because he’s constantly onto the next thing, always looking ahead. Never in the present. I don’t think you could ever be happy, living like that.

Anna: Maybe it’s not his lifestyle, but the fact that Sophie’s dead. Perhaps he can’t be happy without her.

Jamie: What was the point of that? Cheap thrills?

Anna: Sorry. Don’t listen to me. I don’t know the first thing about literature. The only thing I know about it is most of the time, you should avoid reading it.

Jamie: Rubbish.

Anna: It doesn’t open you up, it shuts you in. You can’t think for yourself when you've got Proust, Maugham, Kerouac all in your head.

Jamie: So you’re saying you’d like to live an uninformed life.

Anna: Yes.

Jamie: With no regard as to how that would affect intolerance, religious persecution, the ability to learn from our historical mistakes…

Anna: Why not? Within reason of course. Acumen-tested.

Jamie: What? You have to be intelligent to be uninformed?

Anna: Yes.

Jamie: And in this veritable utopia, where are you?

Anna: Uninformed.

Jamie: Naturally.

(a pause)

Where am I?

Anna: Where do you want to be?

Jamie: Uninformed.

No, informed.

I don’t know.

Anna: Well, it’s irrelevant where you want to be. You wouldn’t have a choice. Imagine if people did.

Jamie: Culpability as a reason to oppose free will.

Anna: Something like that.

Search Engine Submission - AddMe