Someone asked me yesterday why I make the Virtual Memories Show, and I gave my pat answer, “To get me out of the house.”
I thought about it a bit, and if there’s any guiding principle, it comes from Italo Calvino’s novel, Invisible Cities, a book given to me by That Really Important High School English Teacher.
“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
But also, to get me out of the house.
One Reply to “Mission Statement”
“There is a basic social divide between those for whom life is an accrual of fresh experience and knowledge, and those for whom maturity is a process of mental atrophy.” — Andrew Solomon, NYT 7/10/04. This is a more severe take on Calvino’s division. I love Calvino, and he teaches me again and again that the detente between — and blending of — the metaphysical and the political can yield some of our most profound art.