‘Please don’t write anything further about pineapples,’ writes a reader at the end of the most recent instalment of my article, The Doors of Pineappleception. ‘All this has gone too far,’ he adds, with the peculiar confidence of someone who thinks they have the monopoly on common sense.
Of course, the very idea of ‘going too far’ is intimately bound up with questions lying at the heart of that very article. Emmanuel Yile, the anti-hero of my narrative (if you please) is a man who frequently ‘goes too far’. By volunteering to be his human guinea pig I also step beyond a boundary; I too delve into the mysterious lands that lie behind the line of ‘sense’.
Yile does this because he is, in all fairness, a lunatic. I do this, however, in order to raise what are, I believe, quite valid points – one of which is, inevitably, that ‘going too far’ is not, all things considered, always such a bad thing.
In truth, I have made quite a habit of ‘going too far’. People thought that setting up a publishing house dedicated to writers like Jean-Pierre Sertin, Yevgeny Nonik and Eva Holubk was ‘going too far’. I did it anyway. People thought that creating a blog to supplement my already unpopular website Underneath the Bunker was ‘going too far’. I did it anyway. The only regrets I have in life concern periods during which I didn’t go far enough.
There is another side to this, of course there is. Whilst reluctant to admit that that any place can be, in fact, ‘too’ far, I will confess that there are drawbacks. There is a point in which one’s work becomes self-indulgent and pointless. To put it another way – as I go to explore at the end of my article – one can drink too much pineapple juice. These things, however, these ‘boundary-crossing-acts’, teach us to look at the world in a different way; they tease the creases of life’s fabric, not because they wish to tear a hole, as such, but because they sense the need to keep things moving: to keep us thinking.
Much of this will, I hope, become clear in the last few episodes of my article. Should the reader decide that he/she isn’t keen to follow me down that particular path, I am more than happy to let them stay by the wayside. But I wonder whether they may one day regret, as they squander there, that they never went far enough.