ENGA11H3 Lecture Notes - Intranet

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15 Apr 2012
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ENGA11 LECTURE 03 1/25/2012 7:12:00 AM
DOING
BEING
Denial
Realization
Domination
Interdependence
Delusions of grandeur
Humility
Dissociation
Association
Desire want substitution disappointment craving addiction
doing more
Desire need integration adequate contentment ritual being
enough
Addiction is a confusion of satisfaction with compensation
Compensation often comes packaged as perfection, innovation,
progress
Products are providing an endless stream of substitution
Compensations cultivates cravings
We all want to be right all the time, but then we’ll never learn; the
price of being right is that you can’t afford to learn
What Samuel Beckett did in Godot: he tried to get past words by
using less of them
o Beckett’s trying to make us aware of the orientation that
we’ve accepted in the 20th and 21st century, one that is taking
us farther and farther away from who we are
o Sometimes finding ourselves means losing ourselves
One of the key issues in the 20th and 21st century is: how have you
been taught to be upset?
If you’re oriented towards compensation and satisfaction, and what
you want and not what you need, you end up with a need for more
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What we want is a sense of completion and perfection that is
unattainable
Godot asks: who are you when you’re not buying things, when
you’re lost?
How you orient determines your trajectory, where you’ll end up
next
Orientation begins with origin: what is your myth of origin?
How you began determines your orientation
In most of Western culture, we separate logic and emotion, body
and mind, appetite and soul
o Then we spend most of our time trying to reintegrate
o Many of the characters in 20th/21st century literature have
split personalities (e.g. Vladimir and Estragon, Pozzo and
Lucky)
Pozzo is about business (endless contracts: “I can’t sit
down unless you tell me to, should I give you the
chicken bones.”)
Lucky is scientific discourse (has to invent its own
origins; science has failed, and Lucky is the last
remnants of scientific thinking)
Orientation forecloses other possibilities
o What possibilities have to foreclosed to permit the actualities
that you are pursuing?
o You can make the possible actual, but you can’t go backwards
o This is true of scientific invention; once they’ve been
invented, you can’t un-invent them
o Your orientation is the method by which you can use time to
make the possible into the actual
What Beckett has done in Godot is that there is no time; they are
drowning in possibilities because there’s no way to make the
possibilities actualities; they can’t find any way to orient
themselves, to progress (every day they ask if it’s the same tree, if
it’s the same boots)
o We have a play that goes nowhere because its about going
o There’s nowhere to go in Waiting for Godot, so you can think
about how it is that you get somewhere
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