I want to write these pieces more when I’m not writing them than when I’m writing them though their value becomes apparent in the act of writing them: a 20-minute warm-up to orient my brain into the necessary mode to be courageous enough to write horribly so that I may revise the work in progress into somewhat less horrible writing. They are a challenge, a challenge of endurance and of non-attachment: write them, post them, forget them, get on with the work.
After nearly two months and innumerable blinks in exhaustion and frustration, the summer’s Big Read, Miguel de Cervantes’s DON QUIXOTE, is complete. Resulting in a considerable to-read traffic jam (now 30+ books) exacerbated by the wonders of the local library’s $5.00 a bag book sale, a desire to read only short novels for a while, and an appreciation for how much literature still owes to Cervantes’s staggering work—the outsized influence of QUIXOTE on Borges (“Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”) / Quixote as precursor to the archetypal private eye: that figure that ventures through a world known or unknown and acts as a nigh-unchanging catalyst for revelations about those who populate that world, illuminating the views of the time and acting as a message in a bottle centuries hence; it is those around him who change—Sam Spade and Philip Marlow owe a debt to him / and, perhaps most head-scratchingly— how much of KICK ASS did Mark Millar base on QUIXOTE? (Note, these are only off the top of my head; I too am stunned that I included a luminary like Borges and a… less-than luminary like Millar in the same sentence).
A writing goal: rewrite QUIXOTE from the perspective of Rocinante and Dapple, easily the two most tragic figures in the tale.
Current read: IN THE COUNTRY OF LAST THINGS, by Paul Auster.