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University

Drinks

After my reading at Wageningen University, part of my guest lectureship at that university, there were drinks and snacks.
I shook hands, greeted friends, acquaintances, publishers, old girlfriends, new girlfriends, CPAs and my mother.
It’s at moments like that that the superfluousness of being seems to be evident.

S

18 comments Last_comment
girlfriends
Am I a new or an old girlfriend?
Arnon
It appears that, in the end, everything is superfluous. After all, according to all the cosmological models the universe itself is doomed.

That being said, every small act of resistance to the general idiocy and hypocrissy of humankind seems to me to be worthwhile. Even though it may indeed be preferrable to end one's days as a happy idiot rather than a disillusioned seer.
Arnon
Good. Then you didn't miss me?!
I had involuntary physical contact with lots and lots of people on the train instead. Among them a man with sour smelling breath, an insecure lady offering her seat to anyone, an old man with a vulture's neck and last but not least a very skinny man oozing with sweat. They all merged into a humming mass of stale air, humidity and odour you could cut with a knife and which I was forced to inhale. What a pleasant journey home it could've been if being had just stopped to rub shoulders with me.
Superfluousness
1 a : exceeding what is sufficient or necessary : extra b : not needed : unnecessary
2 obsolete : marked by wastefulness : extravagant

Which one is it? I like the first definition. Which basically says that these events make me feel too alive. As in: I wished I was dead. My favority fantasy at those moments is that a meteor will hit the building.
Michel
superfluous |
adjective
unnecessary, esp. through being more than enough : the purchaser should avoid asking for superfluous information.
DERIVATIVES
superfluously - adverb
superfluousness |- noun
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin superfluus, from super- ‘over’ + fluere ‘to flow.’
Arnon
Which dictionary is that from? It leaves out the second meaning, which is somewhat puzzling. I quoted the Merriam-Webster.
Never mind
I found the source.
XS4All
Superfluous… These last few weeks I had the pleasure to discuss many different things in a rather small and plain room, tucked away in a corner of Wageningen. This room, these discussions and the presence of the people became to mean a lot to me. All this ended last night by means of a closing reading and drinks afterwards. I was happy and sad to be there. Arnon moved about the room, going about his business as he described above. I spotted him several times, all the while trying to decide if I should approach him to say thanks. Why do we feel the need to say ‘thank you’ when it is so obvious that words are superfluous and add nothing. I decided against my ‘thank you’ and leave it suspended in midair, for anyone to pick up and enjoy. Trusting that when all is said and done these feelings of gratitude for moments shared are what remains when words and deeds fade away.
superfluous
I understood it as 'abundant' 'overvloedig'. A slightly more positive interpretation.
On being superfluous
@Michel
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/superfluousness
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'Superfluous' = (...); "having no excuse for being" ; (...)
'The superfluousness of being' - should be ' ... of being there' - or 'the superfluousness of A (or any) human being'?

Or you might have meant something like: "As the number of people surrounding me increases so does my own superfluousness (exponentionally / logarithmically even).'
Anyway, 'the superfluousness of being' sounds more and more like a pleonastic phrase, the more you think about it.
Mr. Bert
Have you heard of a book titled "the unbearable lightness of being"?
Or do you believe the title should be changed into "the unbearable lightness of being there"?
Barbara
It was a true pleasure. And I'm looking forward to your papers.
Arnon
The only sentence from "The unbearable lightness of being" that I know by heart is: "Attaching love to sex is one of the most bizarre ideas the Creator ever had".
Oscar
That's a pretty good sentence.
Being There
Mr Arnon
I've even read the damn book.
And there's also a book called 'Being There'!
But the 'superfluousness of being' and 'the lightness of being' cannot be compared. SEMANTICALLY, not grammatically.
Something IS, exists. It may be heavy, it may be light.
But if it is superfluous, it just shouldn't be there: IT DOESN'T/SHOULD NOT EXIST!
Yes, the WORD may be there, and exists on the page, in your mind, whatever.
'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' refers to man's EXISTENCE.
[All these fleeting relationships with other people, weep, weep.]
'The superfluousness of being' - for me - disappears into a black hole.
Well, trying a final interpretation:
it might be associated with Samuel Beckett's 'Comment c'est'.
But that's about it for me....
Hesper
"'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' refers to man's EXISTENCE."

Are you sure that a dog or a bonobo will never suffer from the unbearable lightness of being?

Don't jump to conclusions, the fact that something is unnecessary doesn't mean that this something should not exist.

"Being there" refers to Woody Allen's famous truism that 80% of success is showing up i.e. being there. It seems that this is what you believe as well. You are the Chance of this site; you show up, you speak about your garden. You are not yet as funny as the real Mr. Chance, but time will give you a second chance.

And don't forget you are my favorite name-dropper, don't make me sad, please don't refrain from name-dropping.
Chance
There's no chance of making you sad.
I think that's almost impossible.
I dropped Samuel Beckett, didn't I?