Writing is walking with gods

Max Frisch walks with Ganesha on blue ground. Collage with paper, bronze, felt and kauri wood.

“We live in an age of reproduction. Most of what makes up our personal picture of the world we have never seen with our own eyes–or rather, we’ve seen it with our own eyes, but not on the spot: our knowledge comes to us from a distance, we are televiewers, telehearers, teleknowers.”

Max Frisch (from: Stiller).


note: the swiss author max frisch was a major influence on me when i grew up; it shaped me more as a man than as a writing man i’d like to say, but perhaps i’m wrong there. it was important for me, whose most other favorite authors were all long dead, to admire a living author who wrote about his own time, which also was my time in a way. i’d not thought of him in quite a few years when recently this photo crossed my path. for this collage, i mounted it with a small figure of the indian god ganesha, the remover of obstacles, a very useful god for writers to be acquainted with. finally, the quote from one of frisch’s novels, points to a central theme in his work: the alienation of man through technology. as much as i enjoy technology on a small scale (i’m a gadget lover) and on a large scale (it brings you to my doorstep and me to yours), it’s still an important warning to hear. the spectre of reproduced experience wanders through our literature and our culture, and it often leaves the real thing in the dust at the price of authenticity and depth.

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