We Grotesques (2)

We are grotesque not because we have obsessions (we may have none). And we are grotesque not because we’re ugly (we may be beautiful, and by “we,” I mean “me”). We are grotesque — given my riff on Anderson’s treatment in Winesburg, Ohio — because we suffer an occlusion. A blind spot. We forget a basic, fundamental fact. The truths we hold dear (I’m bad with numbers, I’m not musically gifted, I’m shy, I’m a Kucinich-loving Democrat, etc.) are partially and sometimes substantially constitutive of who we are and of the lives we lead. Attitudes and beliefs about ourselves and the world, as well as about the possiblities (or impossibilities) that we correctly (or incorrectly) think are available to us are creative. They’re generative. They’re the tissue of selfhood, so to speak. We grotesques suffer psychological deformation, not because we have impulse control problems or because we’re ugly, but because we fail to see ourselves aright.

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