Those who love life do not read

Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader smiles in the face of existential dread -- because he reads!

Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader smiles in the face of existential dread -- because he reads!

From “The Myth Maker” (Guardian, June 4, 2005), an edited extract of the English translation of Michel Houellebecq’s H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life (which, I can attest, is an astonishingly powerful and moving book):

Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.

Ponder that for awhile. Is the enjoyment — let alone the making — of art truly the preserve of those who are terminally dissatisfied with the world as it presents itself  in existential immediacy? I have often suspected so. This is a matter fit for much prolonged reflection.

At the very least, it imparts an entirely subversive context to all of the saccharine good intentions of the television public service announcements and teacherly admonitions that many of us grew up with. And what of poor Easy Reader from The Electric Company? Was he really just a disguised Camus peddling his existential dread to unsuspecting children?

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD, GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES, and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on October 20, 2009, in Arts & Entertainment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yeah, and those who love sports do not watch sports.

  2. I would guess as much. It does seem to be the norm in people who are that way.

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