Letters From An Alien #3 The Best Lover

Posted: August 10, 2010 in Desire, Letters From An Alien, Masculinities, Writing
Tags: , ,

There’s no lover like a dead lover.     – David Halperin.

Everyone suffers loss in different, and also very similar ways. It almost seems kind of indulgent to write about loss, when you know so many are suffering worse losses at this very moment in time.

There is one aspect of my loss, that I felt acutely when I read those words, about those dead lovers through literary history. My boy was a very profound writer and philosopher. He must have been, for some tiny bit of his talent for thinking to rub off on me. Neither of us have reached our potential in careerist terms, but that’s nothing to be dismayed about. But I feel his loss or even the world’s loss is greater, because the kind of work he did was incramental, and textual, and needed time and space to make it come together. The sort of analytical skills I learned, I could apply to a crisp packet, or an Eminem video, a research report, an online article.  I am not belittling my own abilities, but maybe saying they have more flexibility in the (post) modern world. He is a writer and thinker from the old school, and he needed old-school conditions in which to work. I couldn’t provide them. I am not as old-school as that.

It just seems like another petit-mort to add to the list. And makes me think of all the other lost words and ideas, by amazing people, whose face didn’t fit, or whose concepts were culturally unacceptable, or who couldn’t hack it in the contemporary economic climate.

His thesis was called ‘Orphans’ and I can’t think of a more apt title.

There’s another form of ‘death’ to do with not quite coming to life, not belonging anywhere.

I guess that’s part of desire, the not yet fulfilled potential, and then the missed opportunity, all rolled into one. And doesn’t it feel queer?

  1. Paul says:

    I think about this all the time and have come to the conclusion that nothing is wasted as long as it has had an effect on you, a positive effect, a change to the way you think or look at the world. None of our thoughts, dreams, efforts or edifices will exist in a hundred and fifty years time unless we are entirely exceptional people on a world-historical level. So, there is no unfulfilled potential as long as you do your best to fulfill what is within you, and to be fair to yourself (don’t expect anybody else to be fair to you). If your lover’s thought process rubbed off on you to any small degree in a way that affected you for the better, he’s done something many people will never manage to do.

  2. Thanks Paul you are right. I don’t deny he has influenced my thinking and perspective more than nearly anyone else. I still think it is a shame his work hasn’t been published, but like I said, that is a story of many many excellent writers and artists.

    And, for all this allusion to loss and ‘death’, the fact is, nobody died. And where there is life there is hope!

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