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?