Mary Gaitskill Convo of the Day (Self Just Can’t Believe the Brilliance)

Still on Story # 4. It is taking her ages. Perhaps, a week from now, she will still be on Story # 4.

Brilliance, Lady, you are brilliance.

Celia to Joel: It’s so interesting. Now that I’m closest to success, I’ve become much less interested in it. I’ve always known that I would be successful, that I just had to work for it. But it was always out of reach, so I obsessed about it all the time. It was a goal. Now it’s more like a natural outcome, another element of my life to be experienced. It’s not even important anymore. There are so many other things in life. It’s silly to be so narrow.

Joel: That’s easy for you to say. Things are always less important once you’re assured of having them.

For years and years, self daydreamed about winning a MacArthur Genius Grant. If only, self would think, if only self had someone who had her back, who would say: As a reward for your immortal contribution to world literature, self, I hereby relieve you of the burden of having to work for a living, forevermore.

Now, after reading that passage from Gaitskill, self feels lucky that she never won. Because it is so much better to be still struggling, to still be looking up towards the goal. Not sliding down the slope on the other side.

But, is it really? If self had won a MacArthur Genius Grant, wouldn’t she be able to afford weekly or even daily massages? (Writers have terrible cricks in their necks. It’s an occupational hazard of the profession. Desk + writing = sore neck). And just think of how many more countries she could visit. Not to mention how much better-looking she would be from having monthly dermabrasions and stomach cleanses.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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