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Oberlin Blogs

Ben Diener '19

Boulder, CO
Interests

Criticism, 19th-Century Art and Culture, Popular Music History and Aesthetics, Landscapes, Conversation

I’m Ben Diener, and while it’s usually pretty easy to locate me by looking for the only nearby person foolish enough to try to read whenever he walks from place to place, I find I spend most of my time Somewhere Else.

Right now, for example. I’m certainly not where you are, right now, reading this, but nor am I quite entirely here, fully present in front of my laptop while sitting uncomfortably close to a couple of wonderful acquaintances having a personal conversation I’m not qualified to overhear. I don’t just mean that by the time this goes up I will have moved, but the very fact of my thinking of you, reader, of how best to describe and justify myself and my surroundings, pulls me out of those surroundings into the conceptual space between the factual and the intended. And I don’t even know you.

But I’d like to. So if you see me wandering or sitting, distracted by the words of some dead author, dragged along by contrary streams of thought, I hope you come up to me and tell me something I don’t know. Like your name, for example. Facing the presence of another person, the strangeness that they can be “other” and yet still a person, is the best way I’ve found to snap yourself together and be where you are.

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