Monday, 26 March 2007
It's the most obvious thing in the world: that in the absense of a notional 'wholeness' everything is fragmentary. We need, then, a more nuanced vocabulary of incompleteness than we presently possess. At the very least, we need a way of talking about the joyful-fragmentary in a way that distinguishes it from the distressing-fragmentary. The former is the more interesting. The incomplete boat in Laurel and Hardy's Towed in a Hole is a more profound figure than Antigone. Indeed, despite supposedly embodying a fractured tragic being-in-the-world, Antigone has about her an unpleasant whiff of pretend self-completeness. Her brother dying is the best thing ever to happen to her; now she can stand hermetically and ideally alone, which is what she always wanted. But Laurel without Hardy? Hardy without Laurel? Their fishing boat whole and floating and reeling in fish? Inconceivable. That's the human situation.