Though not so exciting as I might want, or hope, it to be. I spent more than a moment - at least an hour or so - wandering around a bookstore downtown today, day 20 after catching covid and slowly recovering. Well beyond contagion but still pretty low energy.
I walked away with this book: Dostoyevsky, or The Flood of Language by Julia Kristeva.
When I was in school, the smart people read Kristeva. I shied away. It wasn't about how much time I'd spend trying to understand the text, because I was always willing to work hard. I just wasn't ready.
I spent an undergrad degree in philosophy focusing on the ancient Greek and Medieval writers, struggling page by page. I had to read each text so many times before I could even begin to get the meaning. I got used to not understanding. Sometimes that was even a relief.
But at some point I realized I was getting better at analysing, but not truly understanding - not feeling - the real meaning of the words I was reading.
In turn, that felt empty.
So today, as I scanned the shelves, I came across this book. I recognised the author, pulled it out, and read the first few lines of the introduction, written by Rowan Williams. And they pulled at me. There's something about realising we make sense of the world through the stories we tell. Meaning there's no one true way of understanding what is happening and never any objective truth to rest on.
For the...human being, nothing simply happens. However minimally, it is told, and so represented.
I've been scared to read any further, in case I get lost in Kristeva's flow. But at this late-ish stage, I thought I'd better try. I'll read on tomorrow.