The Failure of Failure

Failure demands a mindful discipline, not casual mistake-making. Therein lies the rub, you sweet innocents, those of you virginal souls who celebrate what you feel is beneath Beckett’s “celebration” of failure. Only a fool celebrates failure. That is why it is so easy to post Beckett’s unnameable frustration onto social network pages. People desire their friends to click “like” to further celebrate their public display of failure. Your friends “like” that you failed. No, wait, they “like” that you have the narcissistic “courage” to publicly expose yourself. (Oh, sweet Jesus, bring back the Medieval stocks…) And that you will easily succeed the next time. (This is one, and only one, of the many differences between you and Saint Teresa de Avila, who insisted that she be locked in her room to experience her tremors privately, rather than be used as a public display of religious ecstasy. I doubt Saint Teresa would have used Facebook status updates to announce her new moments of ecstasy.)

Most people will never truly fail. Failure takes too much work. Most will merely make mistakes, and mistakes are simply careless errors that any fool can make and that any fool can correct. Failure, on the other hand, is soul diminishing. It rips into your heart and muscle. Failure is complex desires run amok by someone trying to go deeper than is possible, and no amount of “correction” can fix failure. Failure tears sentences apart at the very seams, and demands a whole new way of seeing and of being in the world and with their work.

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