(Often what is interesting, when an idea is first related, is not to know the thought alone but to know who is thinking it, who is ‘in on’ the idea, who is involved in it. This is the flesh and context of the thought.)
To learn a foreign language is somehow akin to working with mathematics. Yet to work with one’s own language is very far from mathematics. One is so familiar with one’s own language that its rigidities, its laws pass unnoticed. It is fluid, and in it one is lost, experiencing as often as not the pain and difficulties that such freedom imposes.
Yet the incapacity of language to match the world permits us to distinguish our ideas and ourselves from the world and things in it from each other. The undifferentiated is one mass, the differentiated is multiple. The (unimaginable) complete text, the text that contains everything, would in fact be a closed text. It would be insufferable.
On Wednesday afternoon, a friend said, "You can't say anything unless you can say everything; that's not what Hegel said but it's what he meant to say." You can say everything but always only potentially.
To say everything, or to attempt to do so, could be taken as an act of integrity, insofar as integrity may be defined as "the condition of having no part or element taken away or wanting; undivided or unbroken state; material wholeness, completeness, entirety." This shouldn't drive one to "a full confession." Nor to the dangerous purism of of a conventional dictionary definition of the ethical ("the condition of not being marred or violated; unimpaired or uncorrupted condition; original perfect state; soundness").
The artistic act has integrity to the extent that it is a generally inclusive reckoning, an outlook, taking anything into account, the diverse and the disparate. The artist, thereby, displays a vast tolerance and an infinite capacity for questioning, and her work exerts the moral force of combination. It constitutes a relation.
She must be both responsive and responsible, since her work will reflect an intensity of response, reciprocal with the world.
What is life but a series of given situations of which the living have to take note immediately and storytellers give an account as the wind, say, tangles the rain or the invaders, say, take over the transmitter
Real storytellers don’t necessarily ask what story one wants to hear