Sunday, May 02, 2010

Upon Us All A Little Rain Must Fall

Listening to Jimmy Page wailing away on the "Song Remains The Same" version of "No Quarter". Talk about a man on top of his game, with the whole world in front of him. No idea that, 30+ years on, I'll be listening to him playing those same notes again.

"Walking side by side with death..."


This is a remarkably well written post. Not really about anything, but it really caught my attention. Very adult content.


ESPN The Magazine is having a sports fiction contest. I plan to enter and not win, which is my usual SOP in such matters.


During an inappropriate book buying binge, which is not, as you might think, a binge for buying inappropriate books, I picked up a slim volume called "Ernest Hemingway on Writing". It's one of those cheapo clip jobs with thoughts from Hemingway on his craft, pulled from essays and letters. Hemingway wasn't a very good husband or father, to all appearances, (to be fair, neither am I) but he could put a sentence together.

It's kind of funny to read something out of context-he probably didn't intend for the words to see the light of day, but in the middle of an essay or a letter, he drops these absolute gems of brilliant, cold advice.

"I love to write. But it has never gotten any easier to do and you can't expect it to if you keep trying for something better than you can do."

"I think you should learn about writing from everybody who has ever written that has anything to teach you."

"All good books are alike in that they are truer then if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was."

Whether or not an artist is phony seems to drive a lot of Hemingway's thoughts. Ron Rosenbaum's criticisms of Billy Joel, which I talked about here, also centered on phoniness. Holden Caulfield liked to talk about them too, I recall.

I don't know who is a phony and who isn't. Well, I am. I don't know who ELSE is a phony, I guess I should say.


  1. Two random thoughts...

    The only disagreement I ever had with my wonderful spouse over money was over the obscene amount I spent in one month on books. It was early on in the marriage. Obviously, he learned then and there to cave quickly on matters literary:)

    I use Hemingway as my constant example of appreciating art you don't enjoy. I can articulate why he and his work are important and good; it's just not fun for me. Glaring exception: my favorite short story of all time is "Hills Like White Elephants." Go figure.

  2. Indeed.

    I'm glad you're still thinking, random or otherwise.

    And you are indeed not a phony.


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