Saturday, 3 September 2011

Passion by light

I've said it before on this blog, but I'm going to reiterate it now on account of (you know, you know) having a new novel out, to which these questions relate. It's a novel about being rich and being poor; about being a parent and being a child -- since after all, though parents are the ones with all the wealth ('can I have an ice-cream daddy? buy me that toy, daddy! Where's my pocket money, daddy?'), children have all the life. Indeed, more to the point, children are wealth. They embody it.

So, yes. 'Passion': the words means a powerful emotional charge, a commitment towards and energy for. But all that makes it sounds very active; when in fact 'passion' is a word formed of 'passivity' (hence: 'the passion of the Christ': not the furious emotional charge of the Christ, but the appalling passivity of that Being who is (after all) the most active, creative agent in the cosmos). But the two meanings of this word, the with and without agency meanings, tangle creatively together.

Great wealth is a passion. You have the power to buy lots of things; but your wealth defangs you in other ways. This (of course) has to do with Hegel's celebrated master-slave dialectic; something my novel, I suppose, relates not only to monetary masters and slaves, but to parents and children ('the Hegelian parent-child dialectic').

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