» What Does the Catcher-in-the-Rye Catch? and Why?
This might be a good place to mention .. the Dozier School for Boys. Now, normally most Americans would never have heard of the name » Dozier.
It occurred to me .. that the reason I know that name .. is not because of the school, but because of the blood .. innocent blood .. that speaks .. that testifies .. to the point where vindication becomes necessary.
Or we as a nation suffer for it.
» What Gives? (with The Catcher in the Rye)
"Let me see what all this commotion is about," I said.
I just checked .. and Catcher in the Rye is currently ranked #13 in Amazon sales. All sales. Of all books. Even today's best sellers. Remarkable?
» GCE = Gross Conceptual Error = Dont Get It
In the Navy's Nuclear school, the worse possible letters you could get returned on an exam were » GCE (always in red letters). Gross conceptual error.
That means you dont even understand the most fundamental aspects of the concept. And if you dont understand the most fundamental aspects (.. the questions begs itself) .. what hope do you have of going any further?
I never saw anybody make it, who got a GCE. So when I think of Salinger .. I think of somebody who » gets it. (No red GCE.)
Fortunately, this ugly shit is beyond the scope of today's entry. You know how I like to keep my topics nice-n-tidy. =)
Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago this November .. so, no doubt the conspiracy theories will be circulating among the members of VFD.
» Esmé Squalor & the Mysterious Lemony Snicket
Which is interesting .. cuz, when I think of people who 'get it' .. I think of » Lemony Snicket (and VFD).
If you liked Catcher in the Rye, you'll looove.... No, Lemony is not Hollywood Handsome [.. like me], but momma taught me never to judge a book by its cover.
His degree of intellectual penetration .. in certain unmentionable areas .. I find remarkable. Actually, it's beyond mere intellect. I admit that I dont have it totally figured out.
The exact same feeling I got from Catcher in the Rye. And who knows why three people use that book to justify their psycho ideas of murder?
••• today's entry continues here below •••
Where does this stuff come from?
.. to me, this seems a powerful new technology .. no?
» Trying to Stay Alive & Maintain a Grip on Sanity
Anyway, staying alive has always presented something of a problem for the writer. That, and trying to maintain his grip on sanity. No? You know it's true.
Regarding trying to stay alive .. notice that Cormac is also very private (.. just like JD Salinger was).
Is that the key? the secret for a writer to stay alive? So many die badly, and too often before their time.
» Quirks, Idiosyncrasies & the Game of Listening to Voices
First » I cannot write with my keys and/or cell phone in my pockets. Those need to come out. Tho I cannot tell you why.
So it becomes (or seems to become) something of a game .. and how badly you want it .. to what lengths are you you willing to go.
And to be honest, there is a part of me that despises these types of games .. due to, well, here is where you get to use your imagination. It's all in the way that the game is devised. Either cruelty, or kindly.
Anyway, when the Moleskine is out and the pen in hand, the lips of the voice that speaks remarkable truths seems to get tight. Once the Moleskine has been closed and the elastic band set securely .. you may once again be able to re-engage.
So, on some level, it seems like you have to distract your conscious mind .. so that your unconscious can speak Distracted with mindless stuff, such as vacuuming, folding laundry, frying bacon.
I read somewhere that Spielberg gets his best ideas while driving the streets of LA (in his chauffeured limo). The distracting visuals of scenery passing by somehow put him in position to better hear this creative voice. But when your intention is to pursue the creative voice, it seems to run-n-hide.
Again, part of me does not care for these types of (hide-n-seek) games (.. for entirely valid reasons) .. which makes it feel as tho it comes from 'beyond' me. Would you term that superstitious?
When you get it, and you know that you got it .. you try to lock on, you try to stay with it, as best you can. I'm talking about after the Moleskine is open .. and you are writing and the juice is flowing. What I call » the "bobsled of creativity," which can be exhilarating but exhausting.
It's like you have to shuttle a very large thing across a long distance. The thing is a gift, but the shuttling involves you. In this paradigm, the writer is a shuttle operator. Either you to another world, or an idea (from another universe) from another world to you-the-reader. Right to your doorstep, if possible.
And sometimes, to hear the voice more clearly .. you need to clean out yuckiness from yourself. (You know what I mean.) Ideally, you're looking for a clear channel to the Creator of the Universe Himself. So, in that respect, it makes you a better (more loving) person.
» Not Talking About The Gift, Either
Much as I enjoy Mr. Phillips' book-of-quotes by Hemingway (.. and yes, mine is all marked up with underlines, bullets, bigger bullets and even a few stars and exclamation points) .. there is another book of quotes on writing that I enjoy even more ..
.. half of which contains quotes from famous writers. The other half contains (surprisingly insightful) commentary on the particular subject at hand.
It comes from beyond the self, crashing over them unexpectedly--with joy. It is received, therefore, with awe and humility.
This is why many artists speak of it only among themselves, secretly, one on one, in quiet voices, fearful of losing it, grateful and awed.
Notice again, the subtle theme of » don't talk about it. And here again, we have another whole book .. talking about things that the author freely admits might very well offend the writing gods she seeks daily. Yet more irony?
She seemingly addresses this glitch by giving her book the title » For Writers Only. But on the inside she says » "Just kidding..Even lawyers are welcome." This is the same thing that Julia Cameron says in The Artist's Way (which I call the Lagunatic bible).
I can only speak for myself .. but the reason why writers feel that their writing is a GIFT .. is because » it surprises you-the-writer .. to see what comes out. "Where did *that* come from?"
Not always, but enough to keep you hovering close to awe.
(Yes, sometimes I turn and glance behind me .. to see where that came from.)
Sophy begins her book with a chapter titled » Nerves, in which she introduces her "friend from California" ..
.. who had just completed a long (8 years) exhaustive memoir, and spent "thou$ands in therapy".
But chapter Two (» The Gift) is really where the book begins.
Logical, no? Her friend the neurotic is just a distraction.
Update - I have since thought about this .. and yes, I can see how you would/could start with nerves. I stand corrected.
It kinda ties into Hemingway's reason for why the writer doesnt want to talk about his/her writing » you want to let the pressure build .. until its unbearable.
See how much you can take .. before you 'crack'.
That's where the 'nerves' come in.
Some people cannot handle it .. unless everything is just so. Tho I can't imagine them as writers.
Yes, I am familiar with writer's angst. The gist of writer's angst seems to be to get you beyond the pretty, pleasant words and zero in on the marrow of life. What's really important. Whether that happens to be pretty .. or not.
» Hemingway's Gift » the Wonderful World of Russian Writers in Alpine Austria
This chapter begins with Hemingway talking about how much he enjoyed reading the works of many Russian writers ..
.. was like having a GREAT TREASURE GIVEN TO YOU. You could TAKE YOU TREASURE WITH YOU when you traveled too ..
.. and in the mountains where we lived in Switzerland and Italy, until we found Schruns in the high valley in the Vorarlberg in Austria, there were always the books, so that you lived in the new world that you had found ..
.. the snow and the forests and the glaciers and their winter problems and your high shelter in the Hotel Taube in the village in the day time ..
.. and at night you could live in the other wonderful world the Russian writers were GIVING YOU. At first there were the Russians; then there were all the others. But for a long time there were the Russians.
I love that whole chapter. Hemingway's appreciation of Russian writers is one of the reasons that I am drawn to him.
This is also why I appreciate Richard Pevear and his wife Larissa .. because we have vastly improved translations compared to what Hemingway had. Constance Garnett translations make real Russians vomit, because she primly recast Russian landscapes as Victorian.
This seems like an opportune spot to pause and consider how Dostoevsky raged against the influx of Western ideas and the effect they were having on Russian society.
Bukowski's Gift » Isolation
» Children: Gifts from God
But that is another story .. and I won't wanna stop once I get started. But yes, I do feel like he is a gift from God .. for many reasons.
His birth itself seems unlikely .. seeing that his mom hails from one part of the country (the mid-West) and his dad from another (the East Coast) ..
And when you feel gifted .. you naturally feel a sense of » gratitude. No matter what nasties might come.
Then, he was born the DAY BEFORE my birthday. Which made his arrival seem like a gift .. a birthday present.
In fact, he was born so late in the day that, for most of the world, it was already my birthday. Is their a better birthday gift? I think not.
Yes, I was there in the delivery room (180-degree ocean view) when he was born (in Laguna Beach). I continued talking to him .. in a calm, soothing voice while they cleaned him up ..
.. and I let him hold my pinky finger as the nurses gave him a shot (needle) of vitamin-K .. in the thigh. (Ouch.) No, he did not like that.
I kept saying (into his right ear) » "Everything's okay. It will only hurt for a sec. Daddy's here ..
.. I won't let anything bad happen to you." (Supposedly, they can recognize your voice while they are still in the womb.)
Cormac is like a modern day Elijah the prophet. I would like to nominate him for the Nobel Prize.
I know Cormac is not motivated by those kinds of things, but I am curious to see if he would show up to accept. (I think he would .. cuz he would bring his son along.)
Surfing. Five kids in his group. Four girls. "They're water-dogs, dad."
Already it is hard to stop (writing). Life's a trip. My son surfing already, with four surfer-girls, no less. I definitely wasnt ready for that.
Okay, I will share this one, short vignette, from this summer.
Me » "Here you go, Punkin. This is the best taco you've ever had."
The Bug » "That's what you said last time, dad. And the time before."
Me » "I know. But this one is even better."
The Bug takes a bite. His eyes pop open. "Ooh," he says, mouth full. "This *is* good."
Me » "What did I tell you? Who's your daddy?"
The Bug » "Can I have some root beer?"
And I have had Latinos compliment my tacos (.. as they kept shoving one after another into their faces).
I use a combo of fatty organic ground beef (New Zealand?) with a well-browned onion, chewy short-grain brown rice (Lundberg), black beans (frijoles negro) ..
I cook the rice and brown the onion the day before he comes .. to save time when I have him. A little grated-carrot can also make a healthy addition. Cholula works for those who need extra heat. I also like sour cream, but the Bug does not.
It's for another time, but I also want to talk about Minecraft and something Isaiah said. And how the settings for "render-distance" (how far you can see in the game/world) and also for "level-of-detail" .. and how those settings affect processing power-consumption.
(This will remind me. It makes for a great metaphor, perhaps, for those of us who live in the digital age. But I won't know for sure until I actually try.)
The Bug used Minecraft to create a beautiful home-base .. two of them actually. One is made out of gold and the other is made out of something that looks like sapphire. (All by himself.)
The world these kids are growing up in .. is so different. You instinctively want to protect them. (Unless your parenting instincts are somehow broken or otherwise defective.)
Because it is a very serious topic. Kerry: "I told him [ Lavrov ] » 'This is no joke, motherfucker'."
» Forgoing Judgment to Entertain Compassion
I particularly took note of what Hemingway says about judgment.
In this sense, the writer is not about right and wrong.
Yes, I can see that this is where I should probably mention Trayvon. But, to be honest, I am not ready right now. (Obama already spoke. He is black. Half, anyway. And others seem far more qualified than myself to speak on the matter.)
.. how he might get this message » "White people think it's okay for a white dude .. to run up on an unarmed black boy .. and shoot his ass dead."
At least, in certain parts of Florida. How about this one? » "You dont belong here .. even if you might live here. And I don't much like the way you look, either."
That's gotta get old, right quick. I think that's kinda what Obama was trying to say (.. getting followed in a store) .. and still be politically correct. That's definitely up there with my favorite Obama moments. That and Newtown.
What do you think would have been the verdict .. if the jury consisted of six blacks (.. instead of six whites)? Would that have made the results any less valid? (Answer carefully.)
» Trayvon Still Dead
He was unarmed. Nobody disputes that fact. He was shot dead by a white dude.
Nobody disputes that either. The person who shot him dead .. was never even charged with a crime.
Until millions of Americans said, "In what universe is that okay?"
To me, those facts are more relevant .. far more .. than that an all-white jury dismissing a white dude on trial for shooting a black dude .. not so surprising (unfortunately).
I find it challenging .. to put into words things that are not easily put into words. That's why I enjoy trying. And because an effective vocabulary is a powerful thing. The truth can have a liberating effect.
And the residue of the message that I am getting from Florida .. a message that is received way far away .. on the other side of the country .. as something of a distant echo .. from a certain, trans-judicial perspective ..
.. the essence of what you are left with .. the aftertaste, if you will ..
.. goes something like this » It was really Trayvon who was on trial (.. yes, wearing his hoodie) and they kept asking him » "Why did you do that, Trayvon? Why did jump in front of that bullet?"
I'm gonna pull a Cézanne here and leave out something from Florida. See if you can tell what I left out.
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