February 12th, 2016

what is the purpose of Time?

It is 8:15 AM Friday morning in the flow. It is cold snowy morning here in West Michigan.

I got up around 6:47 AM this morning. I got up made a pot of coffee and a pot of oatmeal. I ate my oatmeal while surfing the internet. What would the world be without the internet? What is there were no computers. After messing with our main computer I wrote in my paper diary. I am still out of it spiritually. I was thinking last night I have for the last 12 days been studying the life and writings of the writer David Foster Wallace. I have been reading a ton of stuff on the writings and life of Wallace on the internet. I find it interesting that there is so much on the internet about David Foster Wallace whereas I have found for example very little on the internet on another writer I enjoyed reading over the years named William T. Vollmann. Wallace and Vollmann were contemporaries. When reading about Wallace the name Vollmann comes up a lot. Both Wallace and Vollmann are considered postmodernist writers (what ever that means). The point is that Wallace is far more popular than Vollmann it seems. Sad to say Wallace killed himself and Vollmann continues to write books. But I personally doubt if Vollmann sells many books, whereas next month Wallace's novel, "Infinite Jest" is being published in a 20th anniversary edition. It has been 20 years since "Infinite Jest" was first published and it is still in the public eye. Of course how many people have actually read, "Infinite Jest" or any of Wallace's writings.

As a Christian I often ask myself is Wallace or even Vollmann worth reading/spending time with. What I mean is that we meaning myself have a certain amount of Time. As a Christian we are not to waste Time. Time is to be used wisely. Now if we have Time to read books as a Christian what books should I read. Time is not my own in a sense. God has given me Time to use for a purpose. What is the purpose of Time? Why has God given me a certain amount of Time? I have always been taught that Time was given to me to seek God-to live for His glory-to cultivate a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. My Time on earth is short and I must prepare for an Eternal State/heaven. Time now is to be used seeking the Lord-living a normal Christian life of doing normal things like working, sleeping, eating, relaxing, etc. . . What I mean is that Time is to be used wisely not foolishly. When I am dead my Time is up here on earth-now I will be judged on how I have used Time here on earth. What did I do with my Time?

I am not saying a Christian can not read, "Infinite Jest", but why should she read such a big book? As I wrote the other day in my paper diary one can read "Infinite Jest" for simple intellectual pleasure. I do not know if the novel, "Infinite Jest" can give a Christian insight into the meaning of life/the purpose of Time. From all that I have read about Wallace is that he suffered from terrible depression. Was this depression due to some chemical imbalance/mental disease? Or was Wallace's depression metaphysical? Did Wallace kill himself out of despair that life/Time held no meaning? Maybe if Wallace had the right medication he would not have killed himself and gone on to write more books, short stories, etc. . .

I am not implying that Christians do not suffer from depression/mental illness. It is not a sin to suffer from depression. There are all kinds of reasons/causes for depression. But there is a despair that comes upon some people because they see no meaning to life/everything seems fragmented/broken/absurd. There seems to them no narrative of meaning to their lives.

I could write more reflections, but why? I could write a book easily or a paper/essay on David Foster Wallace/"Infinite Jest" but I am not in school. Also why spend all that intellectual energy? It would be a waste of Time, since who would profit from my digressions?

I have no plans for the day ahead of me. I gave Rudy a bath last night and will do some house cleaning today. Carol should be home this evening around 6 o'clock PM. I told her last night if it is snowing in Grand Rapids to stay at Caleb and Emily's place till the weather is safe for traveling.

Well I suppose I will close to drift with the snow.

The Howling Fantods a website devoted to David Foster Wallace/worth checking out

"[8] For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
[9] Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
[10] For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
[11] For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter." Second Corinthians 7:8-11
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performance art

It is now in the Flow (narrative flow/Salvation History) 1:31 PM Friday afternoon. I have been reading this afternoon the book "Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace" by David Lipsky. I came across something in this book that goes along with what I have been discussing and writing about this morning. I will quote from the book. Now remember the book is a transcription from tapes of an interview with David Foster Wallace right after the publication of his novel, "Infinite Jest." In what I am going to quote the interviewer David Lipsky and Wallace are discussing experimental literature/postmodern literature.

"Wallace ". . . I had four hundred thousand pages of continental philosophy and lit theory in my head. And by God, I was going to use it to prove to him that I was smarter than he was. And so, as a result, for the rest of my life, I will walk around. . . You know, I will see that book occasionally at signings [Broom of the System]. And I will realize I was arrogant, and missed a chance to make that book better. And hopefully I won't do it again. It's why I will not run lit-crit [literary criticism] on my own stuff. And don't even want to talk about it.
My tastes in reading lately have been way more realistic, because most experimental stuff is hellaciously unfun to read.

David Lipsky says "Because ideas are primary? And then the writing goes bad?"

Wallace "I'm not sure if it's poorly written: It requires an amount of work on the part of the reader that grotesquely disproportionate to its payoff. And it seems-when I am a reader of that kind of stuff, and I'm talking like heavy-duty experimental stuff, some of which I have to read just because I do various stuff with experimental press. I feel like I am as a reader like a small child, and adults are having a conversation over my head; that this is really a book being written for other writers, theorists, and critics. And that any of that kind of stomach magic of, "God damn, it's fun to read. I'd rather read right now than eat," has been totally lost.
So this was really one of the reasons I'm thrilled about the fuss about the book. Is: in this I wanted to do something that is real experimental and very strange, but it's also fun. And that was also of course really scary. Because I thought maybe that couldn't be done-or that it would come off just as a hellacious flop. But I'm sort of proud of it, because I think it was kind of a right-headed and brave thing to do. And I think, I think there's a reason why a lot of avant-garde stuff gets neglected: I think that a lot of it deserves to be. Same with a lot of poetry. That's written for other people that write poetry, and not for people that read. I don't know. That's kind of a whole rant.

David Lipsky "I agree. Lorrie Moore works for readers, not just writers. Martin Amis. . ."

Wallace "But there's also, there's ways that experimental and avant-garde stuff can capture and talk about the way the world feels on our nerve endings, in a way that conventional realistic stuff can't."

David L. "I disagree. I'm a realism fan. You agree?"

Wallace "It imposes an order and sense and ease of interpretation on experience that's never there in real life. I am talking about the stuff, you know, what's hard or looks structurally strange-or formally weird-I mean some of that stuff can be very cool."

David L. "But Tolstoy's books come closer to the way life feels than anybody, and those books couldn't be more conventional."

Wallace "Yeah, but life now is completely different than the way it was then. Does your life approach anything like a linear narrative? I'm talking about the way it feels, how our nervous system feels"

At this point I am going to skip down to these remarks of Wallace-". . . I don't know about you: My life and my self doesn't feel like anything like a unified developed character in a linear narrative to me. I may be mentally ill, maybe you're not. But my guess is, looking at things like MTV videos or new fashions in ads, with more and more flash cuts, or the use of computer metaphors which would only be useful metaphors if the ability to do triage and tree-diagrams resonated with people's own existence in life. That I think a lot of people feel-not overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have to do. But overwhelmed by the number of choices they have, and by the number of discrete, different things that come at them. And the number of small. . . that since they're part of numerous systems, the number of small insistant tugs on them, from a number of different systems and directions. Whether that's qualitatively different than the way of life was for let's say our parents or our grandparents, I'm not sure. But I sorta think so. At least in some-in terms of the way it feels on your nerve endings.

David Lipsky ""Information sickness," as in Ted Mooney's book"

Wallace "Now we're into DeLillo-ville, right? Where the bigger the system gets, the more interference, there is, and all that. I'm not talking about the system, I'm talking about what it feels like to be alive. And how formal and structural stuff in avant-garde things I think can vibrate, can represent on a page, what it feels like to be alive right now. But that's only one of things fiction's doing. I'm not saying it's the only thing. I'm working hard here to try to make sense of what it is I'm saying to you. If your life makes linear sense to you, then you're either very strange, or you might be just a neurologically healthy person-who's automatically able to decoct, organize, do triage on the amount of stuff that's coming at you all the time" pg.38-40
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