Sensible sensibility

From the little black book.
  May 17, 2008

Those with hyper-refined sensibilities practice boredom as an art form, or, more precisely, as a power play.  To show you have nothing new to glean from the world is to demonstrate your mastery over it.  It is true that as one grows increasingly sophisticated, the ability of the mundane to engage one's imagination and produce the sense of excitement shall wane, and boredom shall set in.  One may fall into a dangerous trap here, though: having realized that such boredom is a mark of sophistication, he will begin to cultivate it even in the face of the truly amazing as a means of reaffirming his lofty status (not least of all to himself).  This is hoping that assuming the form will bring about the essence.  Essentially the same fallacy has been committed by cargo cults and certain Polish writers.

Consciously avoiding this pitfall, however, may lead one to get excited about trivialities (I find the subculture described by Kerouac to have made that mistake).  So, what to do?

Hypothesis: achieving a proper balance between world-weariness and wonder is a natural talent.  It is a pre-condition for true sophistication, as opposed to snobbery.  It can perhaps be taught, but only to a certain extent.

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