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Communication vs Solitude

Georges Bataille




Bataille is correct in his words – – – even though they are a bit hard to follow.

Possibly this is the fault of Hamilton’s translation – – – or possibly it is the fault of my  own weak mind.

So I re-read it several times and come to the conclusion that I can never accept the words of others; I must change the words into something that I can comprehend.

Yes, we are bathed (or awash) in communications, sometimes it is incessant chatter that has no real bearing on anything at hand. It is more likely the result of attempting to ‘discover’ the other person. So we treat the other person like a hot stove; we place ourselves near it, then we reach out – – – but not to touch – – – rather just to get a sense of the heat or lack of it. To touch it immediately may result in a burn or rejection. So most of us proceed slowly while others dare an immediate touch; sometimes to their dismay – – – or joy.

But this communication – – – does it really stop when we are by ourselves? Or do we continue reading the other person as we sit in solitude? We have met someone new and we think about our encounter; however slight it may have been. Did I read the person correctly? Did he or she give an indication of acceptance or rejection? Was there any indication such as a hint of smile or frown? Or possibly a telling silence?

Like opposing mirrors there are multiple possibilities to these questions. Reflections upon reflections; some growing nearer, others farther away. Some fainter, some clearer.

Then a second encounter with the person cements – – – or breaks – – – our relationship.

The communications, although subdued in level, result in shouts within ourselves. The multiple possibilities can only result in a cry heard by others. We have communicated, the others understand me – – – and their cry is understood by me. This, oh so human, reaching out has resulted in some sort of bond; possibly slight, possibly substantial, possibly positive, possibly negative.

By ourselves, in solitude, we have unconsciously found our way through the maze. Yet, by ourselves, we continued the quiet shouting in our own minds, the wondering, the multiple possibilities, the consideration, the contemplation, the deliberation; this reflection of possibilities.

Together, on the second encounter, we have broken the impenetrability between ourselves. We have shared our thoughts. We have communicated. We may even disagree. But in the end we have made a friend – – – or possibly a noble and worthy challenger.