Thursday, 9 June 2011

Writer’s Block

  Here it is a month after the feast day of Julian of Norwich and I haven’t completed a post in which I intended to honour her. I think that my lack of progress was due to the search for an organizing principle. I did manage to develop a schema around the idea of Nihilism (hopelessness and loss of meaning) and the societal response using the Hikikomori in Japan, the Afro-Americans in the States and the Immured anchorites in Medieval England. In each case there is a physical removal from society and I believe it is a response to the prevalent social Nihilism.  For the Hikikomori, this is due to the current economic conditions in Japan; for the Afro- Americans, the racial and economic injustices; for the Anchorites the Black Death and the Papal schism.

  Of course once you examine things more closely, they become more complicated. What I originally thought was a straight forward retreat from a patriarchal society by the anchoresses in order to pursue intellectual freedom within the ideological constraints of the formal religious dogma and doctrine of the time became a complex set of interdependences and relationships between the anchorites, church (authority) and the local community. The same held true for the other two cases. So I arrived at the diagram with notes below.

Schema with notes

   I decided to proceed by illustrating each condition in a separate post and then a concluding synthesis which I have yet sketched out. Any comments would be appreciated.

My Visual Diary from joehollier on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I don't have enough knowledge to really understand this but I am fascinated. (I am also trying to figure out what your field is, how you know as much as you do about apparently disparate areas.)

    Question: why Cornel West in particular? What about, say, Lupe Fiasco or anyone more truly uncomfortable than Cornel West?