. . . I have written a couple of screenplays for studios, and each time has been less gratifying than the last. In my experience, they want no real representations of homosexuality, they want no complexity, they are terrified of ambiguity and unanswered questions - they don't know what they want, except that they want to make lots of money. The only freedom I've ever had as an artist has been in the theatre . . ..
I am interested in a political art, that is to say an art of ambiguity, contradiction, uncompleted gestures and uncertain ending - an art (and a politics) in which optimism is kept in check, and nihilism at bay.
I began dividing life in absolutes... Things and people were either perfectly bad, or perfectly good, and when life didn't obey this black-and-white rule, when things or people were complex or contradictory, I pretended otherwise. I turned every defeat into a disaster, every success into an epic triumph, and separated all people into heroes or villains. Unable to bear ambiguity, I built a barricade of delusions against it.
Mann is widely recognized as a master of irony and ambiguity, yet it's remarkable how quickly people foreclose options he carefully leaves open. Lots of readers - including eminent critics - jump to conclusions: that Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy is a central background text, that Aschenbach is an inferior writer, that he's never been attracted by pubescent male beauty before, that he dies of cholera.
Indeed, it is that ambiguity and ambivalence which often is so puzzling in women--the quality of shifting from child to woman, theseeming helplessness one moment and the utter self-reliance the next that baffle us, that seem most difficult to understand. These are the qualities that make her a mystery, the qualities that provoked Freud to complain, "What does a woman want?
There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.