Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Existentialism For Dummies

Do you ever feel you’re living this preternaturally long existential moment that’s on the edge of parody? You’ve been saying “what does it all mean?” ever since you were an impressionable adolescent reading L'Etranger. No, the burning sands of Amagansett are not equatable to the hot streets of Northern Africa. Staring out at a bikini clad girl while sipping on a warm can of Diet Coke is not the equivalent of the war time experiences that Camus had a fighter and editor of Combatthe newspaper of the French resistance. The Graduate may have been another formative experience. However, the alienation you felt when one of your parents friends advised you to go into some practical profession  does not put you in the same league with the author of The Myth of Sisyphus who declared, “there is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” Having an ingrown toenail is not the same as Saul (aka the Apostle Paul) having a vision on the Road to Damascus. It’s not to say that things aren’t either difficult or bothersome. It’s just that an important aspect of being a grownup is realizing that it’s not useful to hyperbolize and globalize. Despite tomes like Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, which deal with the metaphysics of the mundane, everyday misery is not a problem that's either worthy of or soluble by philosophy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.