One literary quote that stays with me, not quite haunting. I believe it was in V where Pynchon is describing one of his characters (don’t even remember which one) and explains that this man straddles two worlds. A lawyer and writer. He gives a couple of examples, none of which ever really resonated. I clearly don’t remember the quote verbatim but somehow the idea really stuck with me. Straddling both worlds and never knowing the best of either. That is the line that I am sure he wrote. Scary thought.
I feel myself pulled in opposite directions. Not entirely distinct. Not entirely mutually exclusive. But as a frame of mind, perhaps.
I don’t even know how to adequately express the two sides. I suppose, for lack of a better description, the transcendent on one hand and the quotidian (what an apt word) on the other. The former takes hold of my mind, and I feel that I am floating up and out of this world. I equate the feeling with that of drinking a lot of champagne, but not too much. Its entirely unfamiliar and I feel wholly inadequate and out of place. I’m enlightened but feel I don’t belong. The latter traps me but I rarely notice. I feel capable, in control, peaceful.
The dichotomy permeates various areas of my being. Most when contemplating a career, my future, myself in the future. Do I want to accept parameters and do something wonderful within them? Or rid myself of preconceived ideas of a responsible future? Anyway, no answers here. If anything I want to express the complex nature of the paradigm. Its often represented far too simply.
— Douglas Adams
An interview with New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert about her new book, “The Sixth Extinction.”