People often say Plato is the first realist, that is true I suppose, but what he means as ‘realism’ is obscenely metaphysical and not the sort of thing that one would think would amount to a ‘realism’ to some ears.
The other day I saw the man of my dreams, he was everything I imagined in fantasies long ago. Brooding intellect. Secret identity. Sensual and soft physical features. Effeminate in mannerisms, and yet, a man par excellance. With the ideals of a bygone age instilled within him, the look, feel, and taste, of someone from a different era; his dress victorian, and yet, modern. Casual, and yet, smart. Profane and yet profound.
With thick, flowing and mangled locks, expressing both tenderness and furore. You may first see him as a warrior prince from an age afar. In other capacities he looks as harmless as a man could be: like a librarian or a primary school teacher. His looks and manner are inoffensive to the eye, and yet, the symbols of potency of which he exhibits represent such opposition, opposition to the establishment, to the elite: for here comes the new elite.
The mild mannered and bumbling fool is his daily persona, beneath the secret power, the artistic, intellectual, and violent passion that is he. I see him, I know he is real. If he is so real, a fantasy so obscenely decadent to my desires: I come to question: am I real?
There has to be a catch for one so desirable to be real? And yet there is. The devil is indeed in the detail, for the man is real, but the fantasy inaccessible, as is his love. I enter a dilemma:
Does the man of my dreams, the hero of whom I fantasised, come to be my sole interest, and in doing so, realising my fantasy of the perfect Roman hero. Yet, if he served to my every desire would that not make him less of the hero I imagined? He would indulge me but would he actually be the man I dreamt of?
Or, must he abandon all solely indulgent human pursuits as transient as love to pursue a higher, more noble goal? My fantasy becomes unattainable and yet real?
From Plato’s cave laments a more difficult kind of realism, not the intellectual reality of forms, but the very notion that our thoughts themselves are concrete.