Well its been a month or so since I've had the time to post, but much has been going on. I have completely (and successfully) moved my possessions from Richmond, VA to Milwaukee, WI. It has been tumultuous and frantic at times to see my life packed up, thrown around, bruised and broken, however it was certainly a choice of my own, a will be well worth all the moving crazyness.
The choice to move somewhere new to better myself has come with the opportunity to better myself in many ways, the one I am experiencing the most now-a-days is my literary skills. I have to say, I have never been a very good reader. I am a visual person, i guess that is pretty obvious, but reading and actually comprehending and absorbing has never been high on my list of talents. My new adventure is graduate school in the fall, which has already come with a list of literary gems that I have to undertake with a computer and dictionary within reach so I can actually understand what is going on.
I started the second of 5 books that are required reading before school starts in the fall. "On Longing: Narratives of the Minature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection" by Susan Stewart is what I have buried my nose into today. So far I am pretty excited about her break down of why we (or at least I know I certainly do) put such a deep sentimental value into objects.
My favorite part so far of this book is the reference to Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe is the main character in what is argued to be the first novel in English, published in 1719 and written by a man named Daniel Defoe. Crusoe is a character who was stranded on a tropical island for 28 years and the reason he is discussed in this book is because of the value he places on objects seeing as every object on that island becomes part of his survival. He is the only survivor on the island and he only shares the island with the objects on it, so these objects have only a use value, (no exchange value because he is the only one there).
Its helpful for me to sit here and break this down in my own mind after reading it for a while, especially considering I am a maker of objects and I haven't really considered the way objects have different types of values. It seems like there is a sentimental value, exchange value, and use value.
So, I haven't read Defoe's novel, but it has certainly perked my interest. I feel connected to Crusoe because I have moved away from everything I know, and I am literally on an island (Montreal, Quebec) as well as disconnected from whats going on around me and in my own head. I mean, I'll get by just fine, but I feel a little stranded out here. I'm sitting on a roof deck, by myself, in downtown Montreal, in my own head reading and thinking about objects while my man and his friends (who are all thinkers in other fields) sit inside and talk about the latest hockey trade or Eurocup scores. Since, I don't really have anyone to talk to about my dorky excitement over this character, stranded on an island who I feel really similar to right now, I write to you in hopes you can get excited with me.