Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On "On Writing For Children and Other People" - Part I

I am in the midst of reading "On Writing For Children and Other People." Wow.  It is consistently packed with words - often about stories and storytelling - that move me deeply.

It opens thus - "For the past forty-seven years I have devoted most of my time and energy to writing. For the most part I cannot say I have enjoyed it. Writing has been a vocation in the original sense of the word, that is a religious calling, one I was helpless to deny."

Julius Lester tells of his tinnitus (which suddenly settled into his ears one day  "like a dog that follows you home and sits on the porch, waiting, as if he is going to belong to you whether you want him or not") and how Jung says that the screeching noise of tinnitus in your head is "the demand of the unconscious for introversion."

Despite the fact that the author has always worked hard to successfully listen to "the vibrations and echos of feelings that lay deep within" he decided that the tinnitus was telling him to be on the lookout for something new to listen to and to do it in a way he'd never paid attention to before. And so he came, at age 65, to look back on his life so far, and to write this book.


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