Get-to-know-the-Readers: Aritha

Whenever she is asked to comment on history, particularly (auto-)biography, Aritha opts for an incorrigible answer.

Nearly none of these words are ours.

Aritha van Herk is the alibi for a woman who pretends she is constantly busy, constantly travelling, or constantly reading.  In truth, she is a female version of Leonard Cohen’s “lazy bastard living in a suit,” while she pretends to be industrious, diligent, and unflaggingly sedulous.

van Herk, Ewan Nicholson

Whenever she is asked to comment on history, particularly (auto-)biography, Aritha opts for an incorrigible answer. Hence, for the Anti-Languorous Project, she would like to claim that languor is a wonderful ruse. She comes by this position literarily, citing the immortal words of Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin, the brilliant mind whose gift of “ratiocination,” intellect combined with creative imagination, modelled the first detective stories: “I . . . called one fine morning, quite by accident, at the Ministerial hotel. I found D– at home, yawning, lounging, and dawdling, as usual, and pretending to be in the last extremity of ennui. He is, perhaps, the most really energetic human being now alive –but that is only when nobody sees him” (“The Purloined Letter”).  Beware of languor; it disguises a powerful energy.

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