THIS WEEK IN LITERARY HISTORY

Thomas Hardy gets wasted, sells his wife and child, and thinks, "This is an awesome idea for a novel."

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The Blog That Ate Me

glenn gouldThis blog entry is about me, or the lack of me, or the unfathomable reasons that I have not existed the past six months–Bookfraud, the blogger, not Me, the Man Behind Bookfraud Who Wants to Believe He Looks Like and Gets as Much Action as George Clooney But Looks and Acts Closer to Richard Dawson After a 72-Hour Bender.

It starts like this: When I think of something being "perfect," in the Platonic sense of the word, in that representation is the enemy of the real, in that nothing that can be written, sung, painted, or performed on stage can ever match the Form in which it imperfectly represents, I think of Bach and Glenn Gould.

(Stick with me here.)

I am of limited intellectual capacity and lesser patience, but if a recording of Glenn Gould playing "The Goldberg Variations" was playing in a car, and that car was speeding at 100 miles per hour about to run off a cliff, and if you were to drop me in the driver’s seat, the car would surely dive over the cliff unimpeded because I was thus transfixed. My favorite composer is Beethoven, my favorite pianist is probably Vladimir Horowitz, my favorite rock singer probably Joey Ramone, but if I had to pick one recording that puts me into a state of hypnosis, it’s Glenn Gould playing Bach.  

Now, the last time I wrote regularly in this space, I had a different job, lived in a different city, did not suffer from pestilence or pain. And when I actually wrote in this space at all–that being in August–Tiger Woods was still known as a golfer, when Jay and Conan were still friendly, the Supreme Court had not officially put plutocrats in charge of the United States, and we associated Haiti with a simply terrible history, overwhelming poverty, and helplessness.

suburbs
For this golfer, perfection no longer entails making a hole in one

I consider those (relatively) stress-free days of 2008 in which I would check four or five blogs each day, usually at the office, without fear of prying eyes or corporate overlords, the latter of which was spending most of its time trying to figure out how avoid government indictments which I can happy testify was not on account of my actions.

No, looking back, I can see when the decent into non-blogging began: when I got laid off last year. I didn’t succumb to depression, nor did I lack subject material or desire, but it was time, that evil crook, which took everything away from me. That, and perennial, pathetic exhaustion.

After our fun-filled trek across this great nation of ours to relocate for a new job, I find myself somewhat settled in. My job keeps me busy, not that I’m complaining, and I am dutifully going to the pool to stave off the knee implants at least until age 60. Totster is entering daycare, Wife is complaining about my fill-in-the-blank fuckup but just every other day, and I have grown bored with surfing the Web for scantily clad ladies. Or naked ones, for that matter.

suburbs
You talkin’ to me?

What has been hampering me–nay, crippling me–has been this nagging sense of imperfection in all of my deeds. I sit down, intending to write or blog or tap out a sentence of some coherence, and nothing happens. Call it what you like: writer’s block, primal fear, general neurosis, knowing that my words will lack meaning or the likelihood that I will be overwhelmingly imperfect  (see Plato, Glenn Gould).

The best advice I ever got (and the only advice I remember from graduate school) was from a fellow scribe, who said in response to a mediocre story, "You can’t be afraid to suck." And that’s been me–scared to suck.

So here I sit, doing what is the last refuge of writing scoundrels in our Internet age: blogging about blogging.

I promise to all of you to get off my proverbial ass and animate the being once known as the blogger "Bookfraud" once again.

Fortunately, I doubt anybody will bother to read the entire thing. Here’s to negativism!

And here’s the truth about writing, by a non-writer.

 

 

 

 

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