Monday, August 26, 2013
I'm leaving Staten Island at some point before this day is over. This after another extended stay.
I could write forever but i'm not sure it's the best way to go. I was very struck by a recent review of a memoir by Saul Bellow's son in The New Yorker. Before critiquing Leon Bellow, JamesWood lauded the daughters of Bernard Malamud, William Styron, and John Cheever for getting their dads and for getting what it means to be a writer. But I wonder sometimes how healthy being a writer is and if the art that comes out in the end is worth the cost for the author and those around him. Bellow points out, in a hurt and astute way, that when writers borrow (he says "steal") from real life it is not a victimless crime. Wood seems to think it's all worth it. He sticks up for these writers who scored less highly as dads than as artists. he writes, "Few six-teen year old boys dream of being a father, yet every good writer spent his or her teen-age years dreaming of being a writer, plotting how to become one, rehearsing and practicing, fantasizing and preparing." (The New Yorker - July 22, 2013) I wonder if Leon Bellow is not as off as Wood thinks. And I wonder if Wood is more off himself than he realizes.
On another note, related and unrelated at once, about how everything is googled today:
For centuries we have relied on books and other external memories, but the Internet, through the ease of searching, has invaded our actual thought processes. There are things I think I know, but I don't. What I know is how to instantly retrieve them when my global external memory is attached. As I become reliant on this kind of extended identity, losing my Internet connection is like a lobotomy—I feel an almost physical sense of loss as a portion of my intelligence is removed. I've become dependent on a new brain center that isn't located inside of my body.
A friend cited this and said it was from this link, but I don't see it there.(http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/node/1713).
I'd love to write more, but I have to live in other ways. So much to process, as an unusual summer of family shifts and a specific and unsustainable era comes to a close. School starts this week. Rosh haShana is next week. Life goes on, must go on. Thank G-d for life.