The child runs deep

My bright liner is still contemplating this passage:

Here it is:  the time has come, the hour has struck the clock of history—make an effort to overcome form, to liberate yourselves from it. Stop identifying yourselves with that which delimits you. You, artists, try to avoid all expression of yourselves. Don’t trust your own words. Be on guard against all your beliefs and do not trust your feelings. Back away from what you are on the outside and tremble at the sight of a snake.

I don’t know, truly, whether such things should pass my lips this day, but the stipulation—that an individual be well defined, immutable in his ideas, absolute in his pronouncements, unwavering in his ideology, firm in his tastes, responsible for his words and deeds, fixed once and for all in his ways—is flawed. Consider more closely the chimerical nature of such a stipulation. Our element is unending immaturity. What we think, feel today will unavoidably be silliness to our great-grandchildren. It is better then that we should acknowledge today that portion of silliness which time will reveal … and the force that impels you to a premature definition is not, as you think, a totally human force. We shall soon realize that the most important is not:  to die for ideas, styles, theses, slogans, beliefs, and also not: to solidify and enclose ourselves in them; but something different, it is this:  to step back a pace and secure a distance from everything that unendingly happens to us.

from Ferdydurke, Witold Gombrowicz

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