Just imagine, if you can stand it

In Current reading, Drafts, Hautvoir, Irish Mist, Mary Etteridge, Music, New story, notes, Now playing in a theater near you, proto drafts, Revision, Ridgewood, Summer Story, The Crab Walker, The Man in the Jar on October 27, 2013 at 8:29 am

I didn’t read the critic who started off by writing Richard Ford’s Canada had instilled a profound sense of boredom in him. Instead, I read through most of the day and most of the night. Finished the book around 4 am of what now turns out to have been 3 am because of the bi-annual fiddling with clock time.

I’m sorry for the critic who found the experience boring. I’m also sorry for myself who didn’t find it so. Sorry because, had I found Richard Ford’s novel boring, I’d have set it aside.  I can’t say I feel any jollier for the experience nor are my own woes as a writer any easier to bear for it.

However, as the saying goes, this too shall pass. No, the thought isn’t always much of a consolation.

Something farcical about the interview, yesterday afternoon.  The woman explained to me she’d decided to give journalism a try, at a friend’s suggestion, because – in her own words – she is devoid of even a trace of imagination. Thanks to this perceived lack, she is free of any temptation to modify or embellish anything of what her subject says. Instead, she concentrates on getting the facts straight. She insisted on taking a photo. Of course, I insisted on taking a few of her, too.

So. If at first  you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. You’ll see. If you stick to it, you too can get damned good, not only at failing but at putting as graceful a face as you can on this thing you call your life’s work.

By the end of Richard Ford’s Canada, my admiration went to the writer for staying with his characters and with his chosen way of telling the story as if walking  backwards in a snowstorm to keep the wind from freezing his eyes shut.


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