Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy. When you always do your best, you take action.
Miguel Angel Ruiz
I am not a romantic leading man anymore so I don't need to nurture that public image anymore. I can talk about it now because I'm not afraid anymore . . . When I grew up, being gay, being sissy or anything like that, was verboten. I disliked myself intensely and feared this part of myself intensely, and had to hide it and became 'Perfect Richard, All-American Boy' as a place to hide.
She understood now why so many members of her kind died so young. It was possible to squeeze an entire lifetime of living into a single day: to live more, to feel more, in the span of twenty-four hours than most did in eighty years. Shape-shifters lived in a world of color and brightness, of heightened senses. They felt everything more intensely, and so they lived their lives more intensely-anything to make their hearts pound harder. Life could be like a drug. But how does one wean oneself off life?
In Globetrotter, David Albahari explores the consciousness of emigres from the former Yugoslavia, Croatia and Serbia, showing that while abroad, many of us are even more intensely preoccupied with our histories than we were while living in Yugoslavia. His narrative structured out of realistic details and perceptions with self-conscious meditation blending history, civilization and its discontents, and personal experience reaches a density and intensity akin to Krasznahorkai's and Thomas Bernhard's. An intensely idiosyncratic narrative, enjoyable and thoughtful.
Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily. It is a journey of the spirit through the material world and, since it is the spirit that travels, it is the spirit that is experienced. That is why there exist contemplative souls who have lived more intensely, more widely, more tumultuously than others who have lived their lives purely externally. The end result is what matters. What one felt was what one experienced. One retires to bed as wearily from having dreamed as from having done hard physical labor. One never lives so intensely as when one has been thinking hard.
What is this 'I'? If you analyse it closely you will, I think, find that it is just a little bit more than a collection of single data (experiences and memories), namely the canvas upon which they are collected. And you will, on close introspection, find that what you really mean by 'I' is that ground-stuff upon which they are collected. You may come to a distant country, lose sight of all your friends, may all but forget them; you acquire new friends, you share life with them as intensely as you ever did with your old ones. Less and less important will become the fact that, while living your new life, you still recollect the old one. 'The youth that was I', you may come to speak of him in the third person, indeed the protagonist of the novel you are reading is probably nearer to your heart, certainly more intensely alive and better known to you. Yet there has been no intermediate break, no death. And even if a skilled hypnotist succeeded in blotting out entirely all your earlier reminiscences, you would not find that he had killed you. In no case is there a loss of personal existence to deplore. Nor will there ever be.