Laugh all you like

In Drafts, Hautvoir, Sanford Meisner on April 6, 2015 at 6:34 am

Pleasant? Not. But that’s the risk, isn’t it.

The good old Library of America Story of the Week feature. Item this week: Edith Wharton’s The Fullness of Life of which a critic wrote : “You are at loss as to whether the author meant to be deeply metaphysical or broadly comic. She has certainly achieved the last result.” Edith Wharton’s early writing was overwrought. Someone got a good laugh out of it. Whether she needed the cackler’s comments or not, she went on writing and learned that nobody’s much interested in the innermost soul, except as a gag. Therefore, all was not lost for Wharton or for the cackler.

I don’t know who reads this blog, and I don’t care. A few things are certain: Although no stranger to overwrought states, I’m not Edith Wharton, nor do I have zillions of followers. In fact, I am as unpublished as a writer can be and I’ve decided I have as much right as any other fool to a platform where I can face public indifference and not collapse in a quiet heap somewhere. Call this blog my equivalent of public practice in a deserted metro station where people wander by at times, living cryptic messages or nothing at all.

Why risk ridicule? Why risk anything. Ridicule is damn unpleasant but it doesn’t maim and it doesn’t kill, unless vanity is your most precious possession.

Whatever. In dream time, someone took a shot at the dreamer. The bullet hit her in the ankle. Two thugs carried her to their favorite doctor. The doctor was a sweet woman who lived in a sweet house next to Concordia University. The bullet left a neat hole and no pain from which one assumes it missed the bone.

A sense of your own ridiculousness. Don’t leave home without it.


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