Some people have an unwaveringly strong sense of self that hardly changes. Some are on a constant quest for change and self-revelation, finally revealing to self that they have hardly changed at all. Many do change as radically as Wolverine. Many are changed by necessity, by circumstance.
But for many Americans, who have never been drummed into some narrow and specific way of thinking or acting since an early age, waking up each morning puts one back in touch with the primal question: who am I, and what should I do today? When one is not compelled to be any one way or another, or to do any one thing or another-- this can be an uncomfortable confrontation with the void. This can be a thing of beauty, or it can unleash an argument in the depths of the soul.
I am a champion of bad movies. Actually, I prefer to call them "flawed" movies, because I find that when humans spend millions on something, the result is always interesting. They are "bad" because they failed to make money, mostly. Thus, they remind me of myself. Yes, I would characterize myself as a "self-indulgently-flawed piece of cinema." No, not in the self-deprecating, or "feeling sorry for yourself" sense at all, but in the sense that the things I value seem not very popular with everyone else.
Digging into that: I think that sensible things are always pretty obvious and thus not interesting. Things that struggle and then at the end fail to be sensible, are to me quite fascinating. This is the sort of drama I understand. Thus, I love to discover that a writer intentionally mis-states his meaning, and then to work out to what extent, and then what the shadow of that means. And I suppose that in authors that do not do this, I do it for them and force various mis-readings of my own which I find more interesting than the original.
For me analysis is neutral, but response, never. I am both serious, and in jest in my reading confrontations with W. Yet, I am learning something about myself by this. It seems that I understand anything external much better than myself.
This reverie was brought on by seeing John Crowley's much brightened web page last night, and the strong first response I had of wanting him to return to his "brand." Some of us, who have little self-identity, use those brands like lighthouses that penetrate the fog, and tell us which sea it is that we sail. But that is our karma (mine), not his.
So, sail on John (lighthouses can sail in my world of mixed metaphors-- or perhaps it was always just sails at sunset I was seeing?), and I will just get new charts.