Friday, April 28, 2006

On Being Irrelevant

From Frederick Barthelme, Natural Selection, p. 144 :

...I just suddenly thought it: "This isn't my world, anymore." It's a curious sensation to describe, this moment in which you realize your sole proprietorship has been breached, your purchase on the world around you has given way, that you no longer obtain, so to speak, that not only are you not a primary force in the culture, but your group is not a primary force, not even in the small way in which it was, formerly. It's that moment when you know beyond any doubt that whatever it is you think about anything, about any cultural or historical or theoretical thing, whatever you think about politics and personal relations and government and clothing, movies, art, theology, sociology, whatever it is, it just doesn't matter, period. That's a bad moment and the only comfort is that it happens to everybody, it even happens to people who don't notice that it's happened to them. If you do notice it's heart stopping, it's like somebody points a finger at you and says, "You. You're out. You're in the way. Move along."

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