mercredi 1 février 2006

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

This rather Ecclesiestian passage is taken from Act V, Scene V of Macbeth, of which I am studying. My current English teacher (who I shall praise of the highest accord) only has us memorise key quotes every so often (sparsely, really), so I chose this lengthy one, either that or a string of short quotes but much longer overall. I like its Ecclesiastian nature because I am familiar with it, and it is one of the predecessors to the "brain in the vat" thought experiment (one that would lead Descartes to remark, "je pense, donc je suis" - I think therefore I am, given the implications of the thought experiment). All the world is a stage.

After all, memory haunts me. When I returned to Singapore to attend Fairfield, it was 2001; now, it is 2006. To think alas, alas, how things seem to turn full circle, that the results would be rather in vain, or all that time where one is left behind...well different jumbled thoughts I have, let me clarify. First, there is the brain in the vat. Then there is Tuck Everlasting, then well, there is plain nostalgia.

Has it really been five years? Or ten? The most haunting thing is that these memories of years ago still linger fresh like yesterday, to state a cliché.

Well anyway, Macbeth. The assessment lingers (I must have studied over a dozen full length texts over the past four months) , and my teacher also happens to teach an advanced course called "Struggle for Meaning" (I like!) of which the material I am familiar with although the course itself is something different. I am wondering, an essay perhaps, to compare the Prince described in Machiavelli's favourite work, to Macbeth. Both are scheming, you could call both ambitious or power hungry, but one is obviously more successful than the other.

It's remaining below freezing in South Portland this week, although I saw ducks swimming in the water (which was not frozen, probably due to some thermodynamical principles, also probably due to the fact it was the Gulf of Portland north of the peninsula) , feeding on (algae?) below. Winter clouds at sunset are quite striking; then there are the stars. Stars give one a sentiment of divine connection. I still remember a time when I was five years old, and the clouds of the night sky were painted a brilliant red, and the moon was red and the heavens seemed to open up.

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