Dzing!


Notes: Review by Luca Turin, “Perfumes: The A-Z Guide” (via see more). Image Source: Pinterest

inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life

martin-stranka

It is to say, though, that if you believe that science provides no basis for God, then you are almost obligated to conclude that science provides no basis for meaning and, therefore, life itself doesn’t have any. In other words, existential claims have no weight; all knowledge is scientific knowledge. Yet the paradox is that scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units. Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity. As strong as that makes its ability to generate claims about matter and energy, it also makes scientific knowledge inapplicable to the existential, visceral nature of human life, which is unique and subjective and unpredictable. Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.

~ Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air 


Notes:

That aching gap

mask-authenticity-portrait

I am still beset
by the same old lusts
and ego and emotions,
the endless nagging details and irritations –
that aching gap between
what I know and what I am.

~ Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard


Source: Schonwieder

What is it that has etched itself into you?

Karl Ove Knausgård

“In the window before me I can vaguely see the image of my face.  Apart from my eyes, which are shining, and the part directly beneath, which dimly reflects light, the whole of the left side lies in shade.  Two deep furrows run down the forehead, one deep furrow runs down each cheek, all filled as it were with darkness, and when the eyes are staring and serious, and the mouth turned down at the corners it is impossible not to think of this face as somber.

What is it that has etched itself into you?”

~ Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle: Book 2: A Man In Love. P.553)

 


I (finally) finished Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book 1 and My Struggle: Book 2.  Highly recommended.

Related Post: That is when time begins to pick up speed (Karl Ove Knausgaard quote and bio)
Image Source: dagsavisen

That is when time begins to pick up speed

Karl Ove Knausgård

“As your perspective of the world increases not only is the pain it inflicts on you less but also its meaning. Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it. Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify. Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce. At length we bring it within the scope of our senses and we stabilize it with fixer. When it has been fixed we call it knowledge. Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena. We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments. Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place. That is when time begins to pick up speed.  It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know what is happening we are forty, fifty, fifty…Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance. Knowledge is distance, knowledge is status and the enemy of meaning.”

~ Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book One (p.14-15)


Karl Ove Knausgård (born 6 December 1968) is a Norwegian author, most known for six autobiographical books, called Min Kamp. While Knausgård´s two first books were well-received, it was with the “Min Kamp”-books that Knausgård became a household name in Norway, due to the books large success, as well as the controversy they raised.  In 2009, Knausgård published My Struggle – First Book, the first volume of a total of six autobiographical novels, which were published in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The six books total well over 3500 pages.  The “Min Kamp”-books caused massive controversy when they were released, and whether Knausgård goes too far in exposing the private lives of his friends and family, including his ex-wife, has been much debated in Norway. The books have nevertheless received almost universally favourable reviews and were, even before the final book’s publication, one of the greatest publishing phenomena in Norway ever. (Source: Wiki)

James Wood at the The New Yorker titled his book review “Total Recall“: “There is something ceaselessly compelling about Knausgaard’s book: even when I was bored, I was interested.”  Wood nails it.  I’m 50 pages in and I find myself spellbound by his life story.

Credits: Quote Source: My Struggle: Book One @ amazon.com. Bio Source: Wiki. Image Source: dagsavisen
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