A beautiful idea of destruction (Rückkehr nach Fire Island)



—get your food eaten, get your errand done, get to the beach. There is no point here [St. Bart’s, some fire island] in hurrying. Light, warmth, moist cruising clouds, expanses of sweetly cool, just-ruffled water are an invitation to take time, to waste it. Time’s use here lies in its being wasted. But I keep asking, what’s wrong here? What can leading such a life mean? What kind of people can lead such a life? Of course the answers are that anyone can lead such a life (St. Barthes would add to its enjoyability the enjoyment of deciphering that enjoyability), that such a life is supposed to mean nothing beyond itself (it isn’t necessarily a product of social injustice), that nothing may be wrong here whatsoever except in my own compulsion to find fault, to find significance.

St. Bart’s, 3/18/83




. . . dreadful . . .

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