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the dash

 

 

“I have just returned from a party of which I was the life and soul; wit poured from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me—but I went away—and the dash should be as long as the earth’s orbit – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – and wanted to shoot myself.”

Kierkegaard from his Journal entry, 1836

 

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The earth’s orbit is the perfect distance for this dash. It’s like the perfect pause in the perfect rock anthem.

This Kierkegaard quote came by way of an essay by Geoff Dyer about John Cheever. What is this called . . .third-party quoting? It is definitely cheating because I did not read the Kierkegaard. I have always wanted to read Kierkegaard; that doesn’t make me qualified to quote him.

Geoff Dyer’s essay is about John Cheever’s journals; Dyer describes how much Cheever hated, loathed, and despised himself. I have read John Cheever (easy). His fiction is not morbidly depressing or self-absorbed; in fact, it is more often buoyant, charming, and digestible. Though laced with pain.

It’s so impossible to listen to other people talk about their dreams. Even when you are in them. That’s a damn shame.

The Dyer book is Otherwise Known as the Human Condition.

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