ZORBA LIKENS THE MIND TO A GROCER! … but the point of his argument lies beyond the analogy that he makes. He does not enter the mind, but seeks to exit its fixed ledgers: “Zorba shook his head. ‘No, you’re not free,’ he said. ‘The string you’re tied to is perhaps longer than other people’s. That’s all. You’re on a long piece of string, boss; you come and go, and think you’re free, but you never cut the string in two. And when people don’t cut that string …’" (see Kazanztakis , Zorba the Greek, p. 304) (...)
While a grocer’s head seeks virtue in gain and addition, the cutting of the string seeks subtraction as a way of regaining life’s flavour. To refuse the accountant’s head is to make wilful omissions in the ledgers that insist on the ratio of symmetry. Unlike symmetrical checks and balances, asymptotes only qualify as forces that might resemble and attract, but never mirror, replicate or add. (...)
[This] presents us with an asymptotic mind that resides in and around the axes on which the plotted curves of history’s events are transformed into a series of events which, in turn, supplement life with willed omissions.
In the strangeness of this head, in the irrational transactions which these ledgers hardly record, we find a way of cutting the string to opt for the lost flavours of life. Flavour is an aesthetic affair. It is a supplemented sensibility, gained by the omission of a grocer’s head. Through flavour we willingly rename everything, again and again and again and again ... ad libitum. Here lies the secret of the exit as a supplemented omission. This is where art seeks its way out.
Baldacchino, John. Asymptotes: On the paradox of a supplemented omission.