Posts Tagged ‘Proust’

What, Me Worry?

January 25, 2008

  “Everything great in the world comes from neurotics.  They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.  Never will the world know all it owes to them nor all that they have suffered to enrich us.”     

  Agree with Proust?  Or rather his character Boulbon speaking from the depths of Remembrance of Things Past?  The words are often quoted, but not always to the same end.     

  There are some who apparently believe that Proust had his character speak thus to highlight his idiocy and prove himself a fool.     

  Others, including healers of various stripes, would wholeheartedly accept face value.  What else, they would ask,  could catalyze breakthroughs, innovations, or even personal growth other than some sort of inner conflict conscious or un?     

  Picture a starving artist in his or her garret.  Powerful forces would have to conspire to thwart pursuit of goals more toward the center of the range of possibilities.         

  Furthermore, individual neurosis (let’s just define it as mental conflict, interior pain, questioning) may well have been (and be) the elemental unit of the evolution of consciousness and society and civilization.     

  In an interview [WSJ 1/23/08] Daniel Day-Lewis said: “Perhaps I’m particularly serious because I’m not unaware of the potential absurdity of what I’m doing…. There’s the potential for a certain kind of nobility in the work.  Because, after all, if you’re not exploring human experience in one form or another, it seems that maybe there’s something missing in one’s life.”        

  What’s the opposite?  McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest after his lobotomy – and Chief Broom before?