An Invitation To Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies
In lieu of writing reviews of their own books – with the exception of Walt Whitman, who did that with Leaves of Grass – writers often write introductions or prefaces. The purpose of such introductions is to give the prospective readers a sense of what to expect in the pages that follow, as if the author knew exactly what he was writing when he was writing it, as if he weren’t waylaid by words along the way, or could possibly know what a reader may experience when reading them. In a way, I too have done that, even while knowing that all writing, if it is any good, is a leap into the relative dark, both for the writer and the reader. We can’t know beforehand how either will affect us. What changes us in life and in books is always surprising.
The following is the Introduction to my new book, Seeking Truth in a Country of Lies. I offer it here as an invitation to consider joining me in the book so we may seek together. Sort of like Whitman’s invitation:
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea, and rise again and nod to me and shout, and
laughingly dash with your hair.
In putting together this selection of essays, I was reminded of what Albert Camus once wrote: “A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”
While I do not claim that all these essays are art, they are my efforts to say in the most eloquent way I can what really has mattered to me in recent years, not just politically but personally, since they are entwined. Upon reflection, I see that what matters to me now is what mattered to me when I was young. Although the issues have changed in certain ways as they must, I have not—unless, or because, my wanderings through life with all its changes have paradoxically meant, in Nietzsche’s words, that I have been becoming who I am.
This seems true to me, and the essaying of the words that follow are part of that becoming. Ortega y Gassett once said that “whether he be an original or a plagiarist, man is the novelist of himself.” I agree. While a book of essays is not a novel, if read in its entirety, it does tell a story that reveals the times and the man who tells them; it expresses two stories simultaneously. And each story, if told well, always has a double dimension, the old and the new. Every life and every event is disclosed in an historical context, now and then and all the time in between.
While hoping I am an original, I know that I have learned and borrowed from many others. My greater hope is that what I say here is said in a way no other could, that it bears my original stamp. That it is novel. For I am convinced that we cannot grasp the unique nature of our current era simply by repeating straightforward political analyses. That approach is necessary but not enough. For it leaves out the hidden heart of a world that seems to be spinning madly toward some kind of denouement. It omits all the little thoughts, secrets, fears,
Article from LewRockwell