May 22, 2007

Why I Write

Filed under: General,Writing — crcb @ 6:03 am

I’m sure I’ll add to this list. These are all true, but not at all times and not equally.

  • For fame.
  • For money.
  • For groupies.
  • Because life is funny, odd, beautiful and short.
  • To win the approval of my friends: William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte, William Carlos Williams, John Keats, Stevie Smith, Franz Kafka. These are my father and mother, my sisters and brothers.
  • Because it’s fun.
  • Because I’m a genius, and it wouldn’t be fair to deprive the world of my works.
  • Because, even though I’m an idiot and my writings are ugly and stupid children, they are mine.
  • To create one piece that will add something to one person’s life, whether it comforts, inspires, enrages or amuses her.
  • To live forever.
  • To add my little part to the good humanity does, and balance out a little of our immense evil; to justify the ways of man to God.
  • To save the world.
  • To save God.
  • To save myself.
  • Because writers have given me so much, and I want to do what I can in my turn.
  • To go home.
  • Because I can’t sing.

May 7, 2007

2007 Reading List: Addendum – Updated

Mood: anthroposophical

I have the following additions to my pointless 2007 reading list:

Erasmus of Rotterdam – Another early humanist. Specific works: The Praise of Folly, Colloquies.

William Morris – One of this energetic Victorian’s fantasy novels, probably either The Wood Beyond the World or The Waters of the Wondrous Isles.

E.R. Eddison – His Ouroboros trilogy. I started and abandoned this work in my adolescence, but it continues to haunt me.

Update: I misremembered my youthful reading. Ouroboros is a single book, not a trilogy. Eddison did write a trilogy, though – the Zimiamvian trilogy. I’d like to read all four books. (I’ve managed to find The Mezentian Gate, the final book of the trilogy.)

May 4, 2007

2007 Reading List

Filed under: Uncategorized — crcb @ 1:51 pm
Mood: Morbidly extroverted

Here are some of the books and authors I intend to read this year. I’m a capricious and moody fellow, though, so this could change abruptly and completely. This summer, I might develop a craving for surrealism or vintage science fiction. In the fall, it might be Victorian poetry and novels.

Even if the list doesn’t change, I won’t get to them all. I’m not fifteen, and no longer have three months a year to spend at the library. (And I did not sufficiently appreciate that luxury when it was mine.)

My reading plan for 2007:

William Blake – Possibly my favorite poet, and a spiritual and artistic mentor. Because of the primacy he gives to imagination, I want to reread him after I read Vico (below). Specific works: Milton, Jerusalem, miscellaneous lyrics.

William Carlos Williams – The south pole to Wallace Stevens’s north. He always inspires my own creativity.

W.B. Yeats – An old friend I haven’t visited in a while, but several of his poems have been coming to mind lately.

Stanislaw Lem – I read his satiric fiction when I was a teenager, but I suspect it was too sophisticated for me then. It probably still is.

Kurt Vonnegut – Yes, it’s a cliche to put a recently deceased author on the list. But I just reread Cat’s Cradle, and it reminded me what a loss we’ve suffered. On the list for this year: Mother Night, Slaughterhouse Five and Slapstick.

Giambattista Vico – A philosopher who influenced James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, among others. I know him only by repute, but I suspect Blake would find his philosophy congenial.

Francesco Petrarch – Poet, epistolarian and humanist. He did for the sonnet what Basho did for haiku. I plan to read both his poetry and his letters.

Thomas Paine – A still under-appreciated man, the true father of our country. If he were alive today, he’d be imprisoned under the Patriot Act. We need him now more than ever.

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cc:Barak Obama

Filed under: Uncategorized — crcb @ 1:37 pm

Mood: Terpsichorean

Barak Obama already had my support. Now he’s made me even more enthusiastic by requesting the presidential debates be released under Creative Commons licenses. See the Slashdot story, or read Obama’s letter to DNC Chair Howard Dean. (John Edwards also supports open access to debate footage, though I’m not sure whether he specifically endorses Creative Commons licenses.)

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