What drives us? I don’t know. To determine that very thing might leave us without reasons to continue. As though the real need were for something implacable and opaque.
I would say we had an appetite for malice or martyrdom; either way, we wish to exhaust ourselves in an object. At heart, we aren’t happy with having been born, and we will never be more than nodding acquaintances with who we are. We don’t like, in brief, to be.
We want something we can’t have, and that is art — both its method and its object. We are like eyes without a body, which is why we don’t care so much for ourselves. We don’t want to be where we are. Wherever we are, we don’t want to be there. Being here is very specific, so, by implication, being anywhere else must be very generic. But there is no ease in this for us, so very hard we find it to reach beyond ourselves!
Perhaps an artist then is not really someone special, in the sense that the artist does something anyone else cannot. Rather, the artist is the one who uniquely fails to achieve something everyone else finds trivial — the act of transcending herself and her situation. The artist is what is left over from the failure to become. As an exception, she unwittingly becomes a legend, and the very flaws within her a different kind of inspiration.
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one's ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
Notes for a fragmentary novel entitled The Moment, linked at the top of the page.
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