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Hunger

While I was reading Hunger by Knut Hamsun last year, I didn’t understand why someone so destitute would pawn his last possessions only to give the money away, or spend it on what to the self-declared sane person seem to be trivialities. However, I feel like I understand better now. I’m not going hungry, far from it, but I feel like somehow I now understand. We are never wholly rational. We act on the desire of the moment, many many of us have difficulty donig otherwise; indeed I salute the person who is able to. They do exist, certainly; but they are the ones I struggle to comprehend right now. 

As I presume most people do, I reflect on these things often enough. Even more often the less frequently I am surrounded by an array of people. We have bounded rationality. We can only act rationally accoring to our own best judgement. But if our own best judgement is based on our current state of mind and only on available information, how can we be sure that the rational decisions we are making are, in fact, rational? Using this argument, the greatest madmen are rational. It feels like a sort of reverse logic, but how else can we see the world? Afterall, we can only understand it through our own eyes, even if what we see and hear is dictated to us by someone else. 

This leads me back to Hunger, I feel like I understnad why the protagonist “wasted” what little money he had because it’s what made perfect sense to him at the time. How could he have acted differently? 

Filed under Hunger Knut Hamsun fiction books philosophy ideas journal

Notes

Opinions

Sometimes I think I’m so obsessed with developing my own opinion about a given subject, or any subject for that matter that I think I lose sight of what I really think.

What does anyone ever really think? Can anybody’s opinion every actually be their own? Opinions are ideas and ideas are procured from somewhere. There is no such thing as an original idea. The art I think, is to make the given idea your own.

Own your idea, call it by name.

I have an idea about a book I am writing, or that I want to write, or that I am trying to write. I’m sure it has been done similarly before, it would be very strange indeed if it hadn’t, but I am owning it. It is MY idea. It will be my book with my signiture and my mind put into it. It will be a part of me and when I publish it, it will become a part of whoever decides to read it. It won’t be alone anymore and will become original if only by the simple fact of its being read at all. All those different eyes digesting the words and hopes will make it stand on its own as itself and ONLY itself.

Filed under books writing reading ideas originality