This the first of my neo-surrealistic style works. I only draw in graphite and so far, I’ve found it good enough for what I’m drawing. This was back when I first began drawing so you can see quite clearly that the concept wasn’t very well executed.
In any case, you see the barrel of a gun at the left side of the screen and that the main subject has been shot. He seems to have a clock for a head but his shadow shows a normal human head. His clock head is damaged by the bullet and has stopped. The reflections on the clock face show his dreams and thoughts. In the background, there is a circle of faceless figures that watch silently. On the side of the man’s clock face protrudes some sort of projector with the man’s life story and the faceless figures stand by silently, watching it. While he is dying, the man is totally helpless, both over his current situation and his future. The shirt he wore that day now ironically echo his loss of life.
A poem to share and analyse today by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
This poem resonates with us through our shared experiences and sobers us through its masterful usage of compare and contrast. It also reveals an intrinsic part of human nature– that of denial. We hate the sad and unpleasant and seek to avoid it at all costs. Even if it a loved one that is hurting, we would rather get it over with as soon as possible to move on to happier things. While it is something good to surround ourselves with positive things, the poem exudes a much more negative attitude towards this side of human nature. It shows a side of human selfishness, the very sign of mortality itself. After all, only one with earthly needs is able to deprive others of the same needs in order to satisfy himself.
It also shows how uncaring the world is by the line:
Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air
It is not other humans that deny suffering, but also the earth. The earth, something that should give us all that we need, is not only unmovable but also impervious to human suffering.
This poem encourages you to sit down next to the abandoned, the neglected and the dejected. Listen to them. After all, whatever else you may have in common, everyone has the human experience and you may one day be in need of someone to talk to you while you’re down.
I finished reading The Girl Who Played With Fire a couple of weeks ago. I really liked the book, but the big ham about women being underrated in their careers was focused on way too much (the same happened in The Fountainhead where the big ham was about how communism and conformity are the worst things ever and God help you if you support socialist ideas). In any case, after finishing the book, there was one thing that remained on the back of my mind. It was Fermat’s Theorem that was introduced early on in the book. I haven’t read the third book yet so I haven’t been given an answer by Lisbeth herself (if she gives an answer in the third book).
I was actually trying to figure it out. Since she said that Fermat’s Theorem was less about math and more about philosophy, then that means the answer isn’t supposed to be a supposed proof of the theorem but rather what it means in relation to the theme of the book. So I tried searching up the actual proof of the theorem and along the way found that there was a proof to the theorem (Wile’s proof) and that it was of no help to me. That was a dead end for me. So what did Lisbeth mean by it being philosophical?
Of course, Lisbeth would know very well what philosophical meaning there is behind something that people try to categorise and classify, but whatever name or condition they come up with to describe it, they just aren’t true and they don’t fit. Like Wile’s initial proof, people’s assumptions and expectations of her are often based on mistaken premises and false facts. Furthermore, since the theorem states that the formula Fermat came up with has no solutions, people trying to come up with a proof has to prove that there are, in fact, no solutions which means that they have to exhaust every means of finding a solution that solves the equation. Lisbeth, in all her peculiarity, has nothing of the conditions that her foster parents and her psychologists attribute to her, but they keep trying to cure her of the things that she doesn’t have. And like the theorem, Lisbeth is hard to understand and her behaviour is hard to prove and disprove and that means that once rumours establish themselves, her peculiar behaviour is hard to explain if one doesn’t know the context and that leads to much of her bad publicity in the book.
And that’s it. That’s why Stieg Larsson decided to include the Theorem in his books. To the people who published his story of Lisbeth Salander after his death, thank you for not including the answer to the question in the second book. I’ve had a bit of fun with this, but I did get frustrated when I didn’t know what Lisbeth meant while I was still reading the book (hence the title of this post). Only when I’ve had time to think things through weeks later did the answer come to me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get my hands on the third book sometime this year and finish the series.