All right, all right, it’s been a month and fourteen days. The problem is that I’ve been participating in a shockingly intensive school play.
It’s hard work, all right?
During my sabbatical, I’ve read the following books:
- More Fitzgerald short stories
- As I Lay Dying (expect a post on this one)
- The Fountainhead (which isn’t totally read yet but, come on, it’s 700 pages)
- Red (a play)
To be honest, it’s been more of a poetry month for me. I went out and bought quite an e.e. Cummings anthology and I’ve been obsessing further over my best friend, Emily Dickenson. By the way, my English teacher doesn’t like her. Shockingly.
AND I’m in the middle of Beloved by Toni Morrison. Which is, ahh, I can’t even talk. So good. Read it. READ IT!
AND (x2) I started writing a play.
So all in all, very fun and exciting literary stuff.
But I digress. Last night I was walking home after rehearsal because Chicago is absolutely, ecstatically beautiful. It’s important to understand that Chicago is never anything more than raw, frigid air that bites your face off or chokingly cruel humidity. Still, with a natural consistency that would give Henry David Thoreau a transcendentalist wet dream, we have a grace period of lovely once a year from winter to spring. I think I’ll probably miss that a lot next year.
Anyhow, it was lovely and we all felt lovely so a group of nicely dressed and academically successful theater kids plopped back to my house under an almost full moon.
Afterwards, I thought about the potential of finding significance in the fifteen or so minutes walking home. Almost full moon? Clearly, this is a symbol for the American dream and our inability to fully grasp a standard which crawls farther away as we reach for it. Clearly.
Literature is, of course, an extension of reality. There’s no water to any question of chicken versus egg. All that said, is there anything wrong with looking for significance or even plot in the foundations of real life?
When you’re done with a book you can say “William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying with the intention of saying this and this and this.”
When you’re done with a life you can say “Emily [insert last name here because I don’t want creepy internet guys finding me] did this and this and this during her life.”
I think it’s really cool that humanity itself was sort of plopped down and left to ponder over the before and after of existence itself for the rest of time. Awesome, no? But with books and poems there’s always a reason. The simplest way to exemplify this would be to bring up Hamlet prince of Themes but I have no intention of doing him the service. So, painfully, I bring you As I lay Dying (As I Die Reading, As I Regret my College Major, As I Contemplate Defacing William Faulkner’s Grave).
The book, more or less, has no plot. Well, it kind of has a plot but we’re not going to get into that. Anyway, there’s practically no action but some how you get to the end of the book and voila! A plot!
Like a life. Life is a series of events and more events and an event-a-palooza and then you get to the end and maybe, we can all leave around some semblance of significance. We can do this, guys.
Hop to it.