10 April 2007

Blogging as croquet

Quoting Darby again:
I've said it before, and I hate that it has to be said again: if you, in the literary criticism and analysis world, make fun of people who should naturally be your primary audience (i.e., people who love literature and love talking about literature and love responding to discussions about literature and generating new discussions about literature), you are a huge recursive tool. I'm sorry, but it's true: you are a monkey wrench you have thrown into your own self.
Bloggers are readers too, you know. Seems that most who criticize us forget that we simply love books.

And Another Thing.

Whatever happened to that old sentiment of Chesterton's? "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly," right? I may be reckless, but I think this is worth bringing up:
[I]t is a towering levity, an uproarious amateurishness of the universe, such as we felt when we were little, and would as soon sing as garden, as soon paint as run. To smatter the tongues of men and angels, to dabble in the dreadful sciences, to juggle with pillars and pyramids and toss up the planets like balls, this is that inner audacity and indifference which the human soul, like a conjurer catching oranges, must keep up for ever. This is that insanely frivolous thing we call sanity.
Or maybe we should all just read this:
"Oh, Parkinson, Parkinson!" I cried, patting him affectionately on the head with a mallet, "how far you really are from the pure love of the sport--you who can play. It is only we who play badly who love the Game itself. You love glory; you love applause; you love the earthquake voice of victory; you do not love croquet. You do not love croquet until you love being beaten at croquet. It is we the bunglers who adore the occupation in the abstract. It is we to whom it is art for art's sake. If we may see the face of Croquet herself (if I may so express myself) we are content to see her face turned upon us in anger. Our play is called amateurish; and we wear proudly the name of amateur, for amateurs is but the French for Lovers. We accept all adventures from our Lady, the most disastrous or the most dreary. We wait outside her iron gates (I allude to the hoops), vainly essaying to enter. Our devoted balls, impetuous and full of chivalry, will not be confined within the pedantic boundaries of the mere croquet ground. Our balls seek honour in the ends of the earth; they turn up in the flower-beds and the conservatory; they are to be found in the front garden and the next street. No, Parkinson! The good painter has skill. It is the bad painter who loves his art. The good musician loves being a musician, the bad musician loves music. With such a pure and hopeless passion do I worship croquet. I love the game itself. I love the parallelogram of grass marked out with chalk or tape, as if its limits were the frontiers of my sacred Fatherland, the four seas of Britain. I love the mere swing of the mallets, and the click of the balls is music. The four colours are to me sacramental and symbolic, like the red of martyrdom, or the white of Easter Day. You lose all this, my poor Parkinson. You have to solace yourself for the absence of this vision by the paltry consolation of being able to go through hoops and to hit the stick."
Oh, Gessen, Gessen! I freely admit that I have no clue what I'm doing here most of the time, but I absolutely love it.

[Overeager emphasis mine.]

No comments: