Saving and catching up on The Daily Rumpus has turned into a beloved ritual. Today I was thinking a lot about a few particular things, and then I read this, and a lot more seemed to make sense. Stephen Elliott elucidates the complexity of desire and love and the need to make art better than anyone else I’ve been reading. This one is from March 20th.
“That’s why, I said, you don’t want to be loved for your art. If someone loves you for your art, for what you write or even how you think, then you’re in trouble. You wake up with a cold, or a headache, and they see you for the majority of who you are, the rest of your life. Then you’re fucked. It’s like the teacher having coffee with his student after class. It’s hard to blame her for breaking his heart. It’s better to be loved for how you look, I said, because in the morning you’ll likely look the same. And even as your looks fade it’s unlikely to be dramatic. But if something is interrupting your attention, a small personal drama, illness, any number of things, then you’re like an actor no longer on the stage. You’re like everyone else and the person who loves you does so for exactly the opposite reason.”
I have been journaling a lot again and realizing (as I always do) that it is still the only way I seem to be able to get a handle on the overwhelming amount of contradictory thoughts and feelings I have while in a time of extreme transition.
I am thinking about which story to focus on finishing next. I thought of a new idea for a collection of shorts. I’m feeling really determined to finish something small in the next few months. I’ve been terrible at keeping up with correspondence. I keep telling myself I’ll get better at that.
This Saturday, M and I are going to see a five and a half hour screening of Abel Gance’s Napolean. I am feeling a crazy amount of excitement about this. I had read about this film years ago in my film history class and never thought I’d get to see it. I have a feeling it’s going to surpass the definition of epic.
I’m slowly but surely reading Carson McCuller’s The Member of the Wedding. So far, I am captivated by her ability to capture the emotional intensity of the preteen years. However, the way in which she writes about the protagonist’s longing and frustration with the world around her, and more apparently herself, transcends age. I am kind of in love with Frankie right now and am really curious to see where Part II goes.
Additionally: There are all the things you could have said and wish you wouldn’t have said and the things you said that really meant something to you and weren’t heard in the way you heard them yourself.
I bought Power by Bertrand Russell after reading The Conquest of Happiness several months ago. I keep opening it and closing it, wondering when the right time to read it will finally come along.