Friday, August 6, 2010

What do Sartre, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, & T.S. Eliot have in common?

"Hell is other people."--Jean Paul Sartre
"Hell is empty and all the devils are here." --Shakespeare
"Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company." --Mark Twain
"Hell is oneself, Hell is alone, the other figures in it merely projections."--T.S. Eliot

Hell is an interesting place, and one I find myself contemplating frequently while standing on a New York City subway platform in August.

I've spent time in Hell, listening to poetry.

What do you imagine hell to be?

postscript:  My neighbor read this and asked if I was alright, with a tone of voice that seemed to ask, 'are you going off the deep end?'  I do not believe that I am.  Its simply that hell is a very interesting place to contemplate-- in all seriousness, tongue in cheek, eyes closed, eyes open.... it has been obsessing the collective unconscious for a goodly time now.  I was born in the late 1970's around the time of the birth of heavy metal.  When I was three my dad watched the Omen with me.  The Exorcist was a big movie in the early 1980's.... hell and the devil were big right about then, after the Vietmam war and into the Regan era.  Now its all about vampire love affairs, so maybe we are collectively trying to make friends with our demons.  Who knows? 

1 comment:

Sandi Longhurst said...

Oh, I love talking about hell. I don't know why. I believe that the hell I was warned about in childhood will be the fun place to hang out. All the off-beat adventurous people who follow their truth instead of rules will be there. Dancing, wild nights and hot, sweaty days.