viernes, 4 de octubre de 2013

Lo ordinario y lo cochino

Starting from Baudelaire, his approaching to ordinary is an interesting one. He launches the idea that heroism can exist in life's ordinary ( That doesn't mean ordinary is heroic, but delving into ordinary we can find heroism and become heroes ourselves. Such is the system and the mission of the Dandy, as defined by Baudelaire. That is a very interesting idea and we can see it at the precedent of figures like rock'n'roll stars or the likes. Ordinary is, for Baudelaire, ordinary in its more literal significance but, at the same time, a source for fantasy and adventures, a labyrinth where anyone can become a hero with only his/her will and meet other heroes or heroines to live the more extravagant adventures. That is a lively contemporary conception. Ordinary life is codified and we have the opportunity to be decoders, the poet is a decipherer as explained by Kenneth Rexroth in his comments to the poems by Baudelaire. So: poet is a decoder, an adventurer and a hero in ordinary world (no need of exotic ambiances nor truculent histories of love and vengeance). We have the potential to be poets and heroes in ordinary world.
But we shouldn't erroneously conclude that Baudelaire celebrates ordinary life (actually he even despises it); that he celebrates is its hidden possibilities.

For the case of Virginia Woolf, we can say ordinary is a very important category in her works, not only novels but essays/ articles/ opinions too; and in this case we have to take into consideration the fact that Virginia Woolf was an well-informed activist (against Baudelaire, whose political points of view were more passionate and vague than fruit of reflection, that would be more the case of Virginia Woolf). We have to take into account that the ideas of Marx, Freud or Darwin were more assimilated for the Society in which Woolf lived.
The work by Woolf Modern Fiction (1925) invites the reader to examine "an ordinary mind in an ordinary day", moving towards criticism against previous writers who focused on unimportant things that actually does not compose a character and, finally, a life, the life. Ordinary is to Virginia Woolf the category of the repeated, the regular, the expected, but also the transitorial. Ordinary is superficial when saw as routine. What Woolf proposes is looking into "the polydimesional nature of ordinary experience" (, taking it into impressions and experiences. Woolf proposes a new way for delving into ordinary life, opposing the ordinary in everyday life to a dimension that coexists with ordinary, the ecstasy and novelty in everyday life experience.  Two so different experiences coexisting in the same dimension and whose dialectics and confrontation Woolf explores and portrays.

We can see, actually, how close are the view on ordinary of both authors Baudelaire and Virginia Woolf. They conceive ordinary as a social category similar to routine, frozen life, repetition, alienation; but none of them try to escape out from reality to avoid the ordinary in everyday life, but explore it searching for authenticity or dignity, actual reality in life. We can find subtle differences too. For Baudelaire, delving into ordinary we can become heroes ourselves. For Woolf, hidden ecstasy in everyday life is not in the core of or behind ordinary, but getting along with it, maintaining a dialectic relationship that is actually an important line of her novels.

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