In my closet, I have a copy of a news article that I received from my father, who had pinned this very same article to his closet wall, too. The article was published shortly after William Faulkner died (in 1962, at age 64). It quotes from Faulkner's speech delivered in Stockholm in December 1950, when he accepted the Nobel Prize for literature:
I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure; that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail...
It seems to me that humans of today will neither endure nor prevail, but that humans will evolve progressively into other forms. What I decline to accept is the fatalism of denying or pretending that humans, in their evolution, do not have the freedom of choices to make that will affect their outcome and the outcome for this small planet in this galaxy in this universe. If we refuse to make choices and act on these choices, that evolution will take a different course. If we accept and act, I trust the outcome will be beneficial for future generations.ReplyDelete
Do you have some thoughts on the comments to #295?ReplyDelete
I completely agree that human beings have the freedom to act, and I see Faulkner's words as an attempt to "buck us up" to the task that therefore inevitably confronts us: deciding what we should do, and then doing it, to create a better human reality.ReplyDelete
Looked at from the "non human" perspective, I'm not so sure that what we do matters all that much to anyone but us.
Earth Abides - http://www.gapatton.net/2010/07/189-earth-abides.html.
On my posting #295, on "Parkinson's Law," the comments I got were all on Facebook, and I think they kind of spoke for themselves.
Thanks for your comments!