Anyways, I'm reading other things too, but the other day I walked to the local library (which I am prone to do now, since I am moving and it will regrettably no longer be within walking distance) and just browsed. I usually have a reading list I stick, but not so rigidly; I put a lot of research into the kinds of books I put on that list, and so never really go aimlessly around a library.
But this time I did, and I just went to the essays section. I'm tired of Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, although I heavily recommend them. I picked up "Other Colors" by Orhan Pamuk, never heard of it before, but the cover said he was a winner of the nobel prize. He must have done something right.
Anyways, do you know that alanis morissette song "all I really want"? I love it. There's this part:
Well, I get this guy. I understand him. This all leads up to an excerpt from one of his first essays that I really liked.
From The Implied Author
"In order to be happy I must have my daily does of literature. In this I am no different from the patient who must take a spoon of medicine each day. When I learned, as a child, that diabetics needed an injection everyt day, I felt bad for them, as anyone might; I may even have thought of them as half dead. My dependence on literature must make me half dead in the same way."
"So yes, the real hunger here is not for literature but for a room where I can be alone with my thoughts. In such a room I can invent beautiful dreams about those same crowded places - those family gatherings, school reunions, festive dinners, and al lthe people who attend thm. I enrich the crowded holiday meals with imagined details and make the people themselves more amusing. In dreams, of course, everything and everyone is interesting, captivating and real. I make the new world from the stuff of the known world. Here we come to the heart of the matter. to write well, I must first be bored to distraction; to be bored to distraction, I must enter into life. It is when I am bombarded with noise, sitting in anoffice full of ringing phones, surrounded by friends and loved ones on a sunny seashore or at a rainy funeral - in other words, at the very moment when I begin to sense the heart of the scene unfolding around me - that I will suddenly feel as if I'm no longer really there but watching from the sidelines. I'll begin to daydream. If I'm feeling pessimistic, I think only about how bored I am. Either way, a voice inside urges me to go back to the room and sit down at the table."
"A novelist might spend hte whole day playing, but at the same time he carries the deepest conviction of being more serious than others. This is because he can look directly into the center of things the way that only children can."
I like these thoughts and share them.