June 4, 2018 Breathe Free Press

SPERLONGA WRITERS RETREAT JOURNAL – DAY THREE

Slowly I lose my enchantment with Sperlonga. Perhaps I may not visit again never mind buy something here. Aside from my usual fickle seesaw between of rising and dropping discontent/contentment my aversion for crowds may be the reason for this recent swing. Sunday although less than the day of the Festa della Repubblica there were certainly a lot more people than today Monday when I finally catch up with me journal entries.

Families packed in the beach with many lovey children, toddlers and new fetuses in utero that I find it impossible to believe the supposed population crisis reported in United States and here in Italy unless the only babies counted are white and they seem plentiful. The manufacture of strollers and car seats must be a booming business unless the products are reused since the space between each new child does not exceed two years. Gestation appears to be less than nine months among many siblings even counting multiple births.

I am no doubt lonely with this overdose of solitude. I thought digital – cellular always in touch would abolish at least change the sense of loneliness I experienced when I lived in Rome when the digital age was not a glimmer in any eye except perhaps sci-fi writers. Neal Stephenson presented the concept of tablets – 3-D printers – manmade islands and video billboards in The Diamond Age published in 1995. He had the glimmer of the near future in his vision set in China or some far Eastern land. In my analog world even, my iPhone did little to relieve my loneliness on a solo visit to Rome in 2009. All that I thought would fill the emptiness of separation from my cats and hubandish fails to fill the early morning, late afternoon and bedtime gaps. The solitude of writing cannot be escaped.

I started the new book “Album” of Roland Barthes previously unpublished correspondence and essays. His circle included the French Intellectuals of Literary and Feminist Theory almost forgotten into today’s anti-intellectual political environment. He knew everyone from Foucault his close friend to Kristeva and Lacan—most impressive (for me) was his friendship with Michelangelo Antonioni. Intellectual in the present global Nationalist/Populist political climate ranks among the top of the state enemy list for propaganda to infatuate the masses with the concept of Exceptionalism.

No one seems to want to be reminded of critical thought. Consumerism—the brain as a depository for reproduction rather than creativity but this is just one link in the recycled human condition littering the vortex. One of hotel’s two lifeguards nailed it when we spoke. He said New York City lost its soul. He said the same about Rome. The word for soul in Italian is anima derived from Latin to mean breath, vital force, spirit and of course, soul sold for connectivity—worth trillions on the Nasdaq to social to Facebook selling our likes, Google our searches limited by their SEO ranking pimped to algorithms. We are AI even the digital immigrants cannot escape the vast web.

Mad Max may be the only possible scenario to rescue humanity in a post-apocalyptic reboot where god reigns his wrath down on the men who created him in their image then lost the thread of centuries of striving albeit limited then as now to a privileged few in all since Classical Greece—the Roman Empire—Middle Ages—Renaissance—Romanticism—Enlightenment—Modernism and Post-Modernism.

Besides I am nauseated from breakfast. I need to eat an amazing salad for lunch. My self-imposed solitude wears on me today. I woke yesterday morning from a nightmare I cannot remember except for the confused deaths. I should have written it down, but I was too dazed.

 

 

 

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Breathe Free Press Breathe Free Press is a literary magazine of resistance and awareness dedicated to essayism as art. The essay as a space for observation funneled through social awareness in narratives that subvert genre constraints.