Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Unattestable

"As I consider our modern lives, I feel that, due to the growing uncertainty of the world, people anxiously want to believe themselves on top of things, in control. Especially in the United States just now, at the height of world power, there is an impulse to settle on what is attestable, to pronounce and explain; to exclude mystery, imagination, the intuitive powers of individual existence. What about the inattestable, that informs all that matters to us? What about the accidental nature of our life? The salient events of private life are always tinged with the accidental. If I hadn't gone to a party that Muriel Spark gave down the road here in the Beaux Arts Hotel, I would never have met Francis Steegmuller." --Shirley Hazzard, The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers