I was reading an entry at jill/txt about generations to come. “Can you imagine that the world will change?” broaches the topic of a “future deficit” and the consequences of the “broad present” [Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. The Broad Present: Time and Contemporary Culture] and I found myself commenting:
An open question: how does one go from the concept of future deficit or broad present to musing about the futility of activisim? I ask because the always available past along with a “closed future” might lead one to favour local engagement and/or a politics of sustainibility. Reparation need not be stagnation.
And by pure serendipity, I read from the last century, a sign of hope:
Barry eschews the old fashioned rhetoric of alienation as well as the slick gloss of postmodern simulation both of which produce passivity; one through a freezing of the will in the face of futility; the other through a belief that there are no successful strategies for intervention. By contrast, her work continues to argue passionately for attention, criticism and action within the social sphere.
Johanna Drucker, “Spectacle and Subjectivity: the work of Judith Barry,” Public Fantasy: an anthology of critical essays, fictions and project descriptions. London, 1991
Still the question remains, what propels?
However, if this flood of success were to miraculously occur tomorrow, if I were then easily able to pay my few bills and no longer had to read these endless letters of rejection, I also fear it would make little difference to my mood or to my life. My life might improve, might even improve considerably, but I suspect I would feel more or less the same. I get home and I check the mail. Today the mailbox is empty, there is nothing. I unlock my apartment and go inside.
The final lines of a story by Jacob Wren. “Four Letters from an Ongoing Series” in If our wealth is criminal then let’s live the criminal joy of pirates
The title is a phrase echoed in the book, in the self-same story we have quoted from here. But in the story the sentence, authored by an intern in the body of a rejection letter to our narrator, continues “If our wealth is criminal then let’s live the criminal joy of pirates or fight to the death to bring a sliver of more justice into being.”
Change. Will. Imagination.
Not always connected.
Not always connected to each other.
Connected, all of them, to carrying on.
And so for day 1300