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John Palcewski's Journal

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The Multiplication of Entities, Part II
forioscribe




Alvin Langdon Coburn’s involvement in the short-lived British school of Vorticism, and his invention of a “Vortescope,” consisting of a three-mirror arrangement he’d placed over the lens of his camera, inspired me to make this image not too long ago.. It’s a reflection of my life-long tendency toward needlessly multiplying entities.

In response to my earlier post expanding on this concept, goldhands writes:


“I think that the simplicity of Ockham’s razor is the answer to your troubles, this time again. Reading your reflection I thought about the ages of the life: you are thinking in this mode because you are in another age of your life that gives you the possibility to ‘over-view’ your past life from another point of view. Now you have the consciousness of your past actions, filtered through the sieve of the "maturity" of the new age you have at this moment.

”Even if when I tell you about the noun "maturity" I don't mean you are more intelligent than in the past, but only that your reasoning has other mental connections, other constructs. Just the fact that you are telling us what you wrote is the proof of my reflection.”


And here is my reply:

My dear friend! As I’m fast approaching old age, I’m drawn to euphemisms like the one you just generously supplied me. “maturity of the new age” is a much better way to look at what’s happening to me. (Why, it was only yesterday that I walked to elementary school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, etc., etc., etc. )

I don’t know if I’m seeing my past more clearly, but I am finally understanding that writing about it obliges me to use the long-established conventions of storytelling. Which is to say that readers yawn at a mere recitation of events, one after another in chronological order, but they sit up straight and pay attention to events transformed into a drama. They want to see a character who faces enormous difficulties, which he/she somehow overcomes. They want to see big conflicts resolved, tyrants overthrown, evil vanquished.

Well, I never thought of my troubled early life in exactly those terms . But the moment I accepted the necessity of creating a drama, it suddenly brought a flood of insights. And even more came when I realized that I need not hide my failures. No, better to simply embrace them, lay them bare for all to see. Truth is liberating, after all.

Why has it taken me so long to understand this? I don’t know. But better late than never, eh?




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