invest themselves in pathological extremes

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Moon & Sun

Member
Vietnamese
Hi everyone,

I'm reading "Into the wild" by Jon Krakauer. There is a quotation at the chapter eight from "In the Search of the Miraculous" by Theodore Roszak. I just don't know exactly what "invest themselves in pathological extremes" should be understood in the following para:

"It may, after all, be the bad habit of creative talents to invest themselves in pathological extremes that yield remarkable insights but no durable way of life for those who cannot translate their psychic wounds into significant art or thought."

Pls illuminate this phrase for me.

Tks
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Welcome, Moon & Sun.

    This is a convoluted sentence. I think that "pathological extremes" describes the emotional/psychological peaks and troughs that "creative types" reach. These psychological positions located beyond the edges of normal behavior and thought let the "creative talents" (meaning "creative and talented people") obtain insights, but these insights don't help other people, those who are not artists, to survive, to function, or to translate their own psychological extremes into art.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Often quoted, seldom translated… but here’s a stab...

    In an effort to gain creative insight into life, art, the universe or the human condition (to name a few worthy goals), some artists go to such extremes (using LSD, meditating in a cave for a year) that they attain the insight they’re looking for (we are all one, love is everything, life is a circle) but once they return from that pinnacle, they’re unable to use their new-found enlightenment (for whatever reason; perhaps forgetfulness, if nothing else) to create anything of note in terms of art or thought – something tangible that will help themselves, or reflect their journey, or enlighten others.

    I think I have to go lie down now.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    but these insights don't help other people, those who are not artists, to survive, to function, or to translate their own psychological extremes into art.
    At first I thought "those" referred to other people, but when I read it a few times, I finally landed on the side of "those" being "those artists themselves" who were unable to translate their psychic wounds to help even themselves.

    Just a thought.

    Although the best translations of psychic wounds would presumably help others if they were expressed well enough.
     

    Moon & Sun

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Thank you all,

    I think I've got the point of pathological extremes.

    Another confused quotation in "Into the Wild" at chapter 14 from "the Stars, the Snow, the Fire: 25 years in the Northern Wilderness" by John Haines:

    "The physical domain of the country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also... With the gathering force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I faced in myself a passionate and tenacious longing..."

    Pls help me express it in a simplier way for an easier grasp.

    And also, the phrase "hand-paved trestle" in "He'd built a bridge of privilege for me, a hand-paved trestle to the good life..." absorb from me some hours of thinking.

    Tks
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "The physical domain of the country had its counterpart in me. The trails I made led outward into the hills and swamps, but they led inward also... With the gathering force of an essential thing realizing itself out of early ground, I faced in myself a passionate and tenacious longing..."
    I certainly must have skimmed those parts in the book... I may have to reread it... or not. :) For the moment, I'll let someone else pick up your trail.

    And also, the phrase "hand-paved trestle" in "He'd built a bridge of privilege for me, a hand-paved trestle to the good life..." absorb from me some hours of thinking.
    My first thought is that it's incorrect: a trestle refers to an upright structure such as a sawhorse, but "hand-paved" puts me in mind of horizontal structures.

    My second thought is that I can see why it stole a few hours of your life.

    Sorry that I couldn't offer more help, just sympathy.
     

    Moon & Sun

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Thank you, Mr. Copyright,

    Surely, there are some confused phrases, paras in this book.:confused: And I'm trying to grasp them...

    Thanks for your sympathy.
     
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