I just read this; it was the 400th anniversary; John Crowley is the great public-spirited man who instead of pursuing private enrichment wrote the cornucopia-like “LITTLE, BIG” which is a boon to struggling, vulnerable, courageous humanity; it will take a long time for me to process my conclusions, but it is a life-transforming work and provides a flickering ray of illumination in this dimly-lit time. Three quick take-aways
- Post-modern literary self-reflexiveness and meta-fictionality as I long suspected are a species of the genus which includes esoteric religion
- Retroactive temporality is the watchword of our age. Our decisions now give us the categories by which we comprehend the past so we are always creating the past. A simple thing — a flirtation is the meeting of two grandparents if and only if it leads to having children and them having children. So what the flirtation is NOW is determined by the future.
- The powerful effect of a sudden loss of information, going from extremely detailed explanations of characters and events to the sketchiest facts — it induces anxiety — what is behind the curtain that just dropped so suddenly, obscuring nearly everything? Anxiety we know is an antipathetic-sympathy and a sympathetic-antipathy. Something like this happened at the end of Gravity’s Rainbow. It makes us aware of the shifting seas of obscurity and clarity in which we build our own castle, seven-layered or more.