Awesome Quote of the Day (First Wednesday of August 2013)

Courtesy of Wigleaf:

A short story writer fields many questions about the genre, among them the persistent and accusatory:  But why didn’t you finish it?  Or the related:  Why didn’t you write a whole book about this?  Depending upon audience and context I’ve given any number of answers.  Because the job of a short story is to leave you in suspended animation, and let you linger there until you think you know what it means.  Because there’s something to the experience of being dropped into something and then forced to surface.  Because the right one-night stand can be as interesting as a marriage.  Because the world can change forever in a few centuries or in a few seconds, and we need measures of both.  Because closure is overrated and fiction’s job is to open us up.

There.  Isn’t that just the most beautiful quote about the impulse to write stories that you’ve ever read?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Life Unlived: Adam Phillips’s MISSING OUT Reviewed in The New Yorker (Feb. 25, 2013)

Self’s Pile of Stuff is such a mess!  None of her magazines are arranged in chronological order.  Anyhoo, today she is reading The New Yorker of Feb. 25, 2013, the Joan Acocella essay on Adam Phillips.

Phillips, according to Acocella, is “Britain’s foremost psychoanalytic writer.” (How come self never heard of him before?  Clearly, there are large gaps in her reading, especially of contemporary British books).  The main idea of Phillips’s Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life seems to be this:  “Instead of feeling that we should have a better life, he says, we should just live, as gratifyingly as possible, the life we have.  Otherwise, we are setting ourselves up for bitterness.  What makes us think that we could have been a contender?  Yet, in the dark of night, we do think this, and grieve that it wasn’t possible.  And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives . . . ”  In other words, “our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless trauma about, the lives we were unable to live.”

The first chapter is “On Frustration” :  “Frustration makes people real to us,” he says, “because, in our lives, they are usually the sources of it.  Indeed, frustration makes reality itself real to us.”

Chapter Two is “On Not Getting to It” :  Phillips maintains that “Perhaps understanding is one thing we can do with each other —  something peculiarly bewitching and entrancing — but also something that can be limiting, regressive . . .  The illusion of knowing another person creates the possibility, the freedom, of not knowing them; to be free, by not knowing them, to do something else with them” — free, that is to say, to “mistreat them.”

But, Acocella writes, “the error Phillips addresses most feelingly is our wish to be understood.  This, Phillips says, can be “our most violent form of nostalgia.”  It is “a revival of our wish, as infants, to have our mother arrive the instant we cry out from pain and hunger.”

Self, you must get this book!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Foreshadow 3

The prompt for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge definitely needed some reflection:

In a post created specifically for this challenge, post a photograph that evokes FORESHADOW to you.

This challenge offers some fun opportunities to play — not only with the subject of your photo, but with light, color, and contrast to evoke foreshadow.

Crossing the San Mateo Bridge, at sun-up

Crossing the San Mateo Bridge, at sun-up

The Ancient One (almost 18 years old) struggles gamely on!

The Ancient One (almost 18 years old) struggles gamely on!

Self lives in these almost all summer!

Self lives in these almost all summer!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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