Sorry, everyone, but I haven't had any time whatsoever in the past-- has it really been?-- two months to write. Such is life at New Institution, alas. That's also unlikely to change anytime soon, unfortunately.
I was reminded tonight, though, of an old "issue" for (inter-)textualists, the one commonly called Tommy Westphall Syndrome. (Make sure you read the "external links" at the bottom.) Given the spectacularly, to say nothing of circularly, onanistic nature of such thinking, I was reminded that the Westphall Syndrome is probably the best example in the past thirty years of a broad cultural koan, and a ludicrously over-considered one at that. Two other thoughts occurred to me. One: that this "riddle," if it deserves to be called that, reminds me of the episode of Frasier in which the good shrink, bored at work, subconsciously manufactures for himself a dream that's psychologically indecipherable just for the challenge. The other, of course, was much cheekier, and speaks to the absurdity of the riddling itself: that the pontificators should be well and gladly pleased that St. Elsewhere never crossed over with Newhart. Then whose dream would television be? Or would all dreams be collective after all? In which case, not only would the world, and all its fictional worlds, be dreams within dreams, but shared ones to boot? In which case, we'd have gone beyond Kristevan incredulities and landed somewhere in Jung's town. How's that for an imponderable ponderable?