Friday, April 6, 2012
I Am Your Author
In the words of the Sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica, "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again".
By the same token, I can bet that what I am about to say has absolutely nothing original within it. Having said that, I am not copying anyone directly. I am rather presuming that someone has already thought of this. So, in a way, I am trying to absolve myself from the guilt of plagiarism - a guilt from which no writer anywhere can be completely absolved - while also trying to present what I have to say as original, at least in the sense that it came from me and me only. Again, this is a thorough impossibility.
I am attempting to put on a mask, which all writers do, to deceive and seduce my audience with my tantalising thoughts. I will continue as thus. Be comforted by the fact that I do willingly and openly put myself in this position of the sage who came down from the mountain to impart his wisdom, like Nietzsche's Zarathustra. I have placed myself in this ironic position to save face, and I have admitted as much.
However, you should heed my admittance, and remember that this may be an even subtler (or more blatant) attempt by the author to woo his audience, to come off as sincere. If the author states blatantly that they believe that they are being sincere - as I think I am - then the author is trying to impose their sincerity upon you, lull you into it. The question then arises; is the one who says that they are being sincere necessarily being insincere, seen as they had to reinforce it, make it a point, raise up their writing above that which is, well, insincere.
At the very least, we can say that sincerity opposes truth in one vital way. Truth lays claim to the universal, whereas sincerity lays claim to the subjective. Truth wants to be, for all things, at all times - it aspires towards it. Sincerity can exist without truth, and is based upon belief.
And yet still, I am trying to raise my writing above that which is insincere. Therefore I am laying claim to some sort of universal decree of sincerity, and thus perhaps lay claim to be closer to truth. By implication, we somehow associate sincerity with truth. But can it not be that insincerity can at times be closer to truth? There is nothing to say that it could not. For, if we accept truth as being objective in nature, then it exists independent of the subject, and will continue to do so without them. So, it stands within reason that if someone is being insincere they may accidentally stumble upon some truth or another.
Then again, insincerity is an accusation, and is always absent from an author's own admission. An author will never state that they are being insincere; what would be the point in that? Which brings me back to the point that the author who speaks of sincerity necessarily opens up the possibility of insincerity. Sincerity itself can never be truly wrenched from truth either - it only makes it more malleable, less important that this or that is the truth. An admission of sincerity is in a sense a rejection of the importance of universal truths. Is it a rejection of an objective world? Not completely, for it holds as its object earnestness and belief. Still, once it is stated, the doubt of the author is exposed. Why would anyone insist that they believe something in an introduction to some piece of writing? Surely what follows will convey that silently?
So, anyway, forget everything that I have written. Lets jump in and begin, like many good essays and stories, at the end.