The Decay of Lying

Akron_Cover_small (Large)“Certainly we are a degraded race, and have sold our birthright for a mess of facts.” (25)

Art allows one to see the defects of nature, its lack of order. It reveals how boring Nature is; the notion that it has infinite variety is pure myth. (8) Variety is a product of cultivated blindness. Without the egotism produced by relying on an indoor life, a lifestyle produced by the repulsion toward nature, there would be no art or dignity. The outside is ‘abstract and impersonal’. (9) Nature is indifferent, opposed to the mind. “Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease.” (9)

Lying is not simply misrepresentation. That’s a racket for politicians. Instead, lying is “that which is its own evidence” and the liar doesn’t condescend to argue or prove it. Contemporary writers have no ideas of their own so they turn to life, even going so far as researching it. But lying requires ‘disinterested devotion’ like any proper art. Without exaggeration and an aversion to accuracy, Art becomes sterile. The value of art, and the test of its value, is in its capacity to be re-read. Otherwise, it’s pointless. (25) (more…)