The Short Version
What follow are the posthumous writings of Eponymous Quatsch, a young man, stuck somewhere between madness and enlightenment, who died alone, familyless and friendless, by suicide, while living in a homeless shelter near Boston, MA. I only knew him in the last months of his life, and was probably the closest thing he had to a friend.
The writings are culled from a long supposedly cohesive philosophical tome he completed shortly before his death, titled A Survey of America Within Myself (or, The Investigation), and comprised of three main sections. The first section, An Investigation Into Social Class, is a rough exploratory sketch, ending mid-sentence. The second, Exile From Nowhere, is split up further into three sub-sections: A Reckoning, An Interlude, and The Limitations. The first of these questions how ‘the visionary’— the sincere artist or thinker— might hope to ‘pursue their vision’ within the particular constraints of contemporary American society. The second is perhaps the strangest of all the writings, focusing on a fictional tribe who experience existence in an eternal present. The third, The Limitations, is by far the longest, and contains the most polished and realized pieces, culminating in a tour-de-force essay titled Relativism, the Absolute, ‘Self-Realization,’ and Happiness in America (or, Closer to the Path). The last section is a collection of thoughts and aphorisms compiled throughout the writing process.
Some of the writings are too rough, erratic, one-sided, and fragmentary for publication. Others, however unbalanced, are poignant in their uncanny reflections of contemporary society. A few come as close to describing Awareness as any I’ve read. He entrusted the manuscript to me several days before his death; I will be publishing portions at my discretion. Please make of them what you will.
The Whole Version