Sunday, March 16, 2014

But after working both Friday night and Saturday night behind the bar, I wonder if writing isn't madness, the facing of an inner madness, the preoccupation with the psyche, as perhaps Mr. Roth hints at in his interview, describing his sitting down to write, an act of self preservation.  Those times, 1969, people were into soul searching, the post Ike questioning period, the account and inventory of values during which Mr. Roth made important revelations showing, with some fresh honesty, the nature of the human being, even as that being was, perhaps, focussed a bit too much on its own self.

Times have changed.  We now need more direct answers, as opposed to the soul searching and the inward lens that 20th Century fiction created and fostered and supported and celebrated.  Now we have, as if again, serious worries.  And we seem to think, or hope, that we need now science to save our ship, to keep us from global warming, to solve our energy need's problems.  We don't need Bohemian possibilities of alternative lifestyles of the kind found in Hemingway, nor the questioning of Fitzgerald.

Math and sciences…  that's what we need now, to compete globally.

I should have listened to my brother years ago when he handed me "Drama of the Gifted Child."  Why spend years trying to rationalize your own crazy head stuff--as if you could retract the actions that came out of the craziness, be so revealing of human nature that the apology would be accepted, forgiven for the misunderstandings inherent in life--when, as we all know, we are all just simply trying to survive, the broker with our talents and skills the best kind of job to match, the best pay.   Enough with all the intangibles, the style, the poetry, the humor and errant kindness that pleases the crowd for a day then goes away.

Who wants to sit with the writer and look in on madness?  We might empathize, but we must move on, having stuff to do, grown up stuff.  Enough of the old self-indulgence that gets us nowhere.  Whoever said that such things were crazy was absolutely right, as women are sensitive to mental unhealthiness.

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