truth or beauty?

I decide to have a sit down lunch today. It has been at least a couple of weeks since I’ve had a decent burger. I spot the Slug and the Lettuce. They do a decent bacon cheeseburger, so I head there. The place is not busy which surprises me for a Friday lunch time in the city.

A quick glance at the menu and I understand why.  £9.75 for a burger. Geez…

A little stunned, I order from the chap at the bar.  He tells me to take a seat wherever I like.  I pull out the Time magazine I bought this morning. I am eager to read the interview of novelist Jonathan Franzen, although I have never read any of his work, I figure he must be important to grace the cover of Time magazine. Only 5 other novelists have done so – Salinger, Nabokov, Morrison, Joyce, and Updike.  Besides, I like reading about other writers.

The interview reads well.  I like what Franzen seems to be about as a writer.  I will have to read a couple of his novels, Corrections being his most known work, and Freedom, which is out at the end of this month.

I clocked that the clouds have burst and the rain is coming down heavy.  Good reason to hunker down delay going back to the office.

– –

Emerson, in his essay on Nature, says that the poet and the philosopher differ only in their main end.    The poet animates nature with his own thoughts, as does the philosopher.  However the poet’s main end is Beauty  and the philosopher’s main end is Truth.

I fancy myself a poet and a philosopher.  How true that is, I am not sure.  I am probably more the court jester than a poet or philosopher.  That aside, I had to ask myself the question: is my main aim beauty or truth?

I believe both ends are noble pursuits, but I think for me, on balance, Truth is my main end.  It underpins all that I do.  Perhaps it is that I seek the truth in a poetic way.


Leave a Reply