Sway’s an idiot who didn’t order them when we used up the last bunch. (vik) isn’t that your job? (devyn) no. i’m the sub-idiot. sway’s head idiot because the company refuses to deal with mechas. since i’m not organic, they think i can’t pay. (vik) thanks, vik. (devyn) ever my pleasure to irritate you, sir. (vik)
The writer is a person who is standing apart, like the cheese in 'the farmer in the dell' standing there alone but deciding to take a few notes. Youre outside, but you can see things up close through your binoculars. Your job is to present clearly your viewpoint, your line of vision. Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others.
I figured being a bed salesman was a job of biblically bad paradox. i mean, here he was, forced to stand for eight or nine hours a day, and the whole time hes surrounded by beds. and not only that, hes surrounded by shoppers who see the beds and cant help but think, man, id love to lie down on that bed for a second. so not only does he have to stop himself from lying down, but he has to stop everyone else from doing it, too. i knew if i were him, i would be desperate for human company.
You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need. We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.
I often recall these words when i am writing, and i think to myself, it’s true. there aren’t any new words. our job is to give new meanings and special overtones to absolutely ordinary words. i find the thought reassuring. it means that vast, unknown stretches still lie before us, fertile territories just waiting for us to cultivate them.
Part of what makes a language 'alive' is its constant evolution. I would hate to think britain would ever emulate france, where they actually have a learned faculty whose job it is to attempt to prevent the incursion of foreign words into the language. I love editing harry with arthur levine, my american editor-the differences between 'british english' (of which there must be at least 200 versions) and 'american english' (ditto!) are a source of constant interest and amusement to me.
I think about going to the lake, but i'm so weak that i barely make it to my meeting place with gale. i sit on the rock where cressida filmed us, but it's too wide without his body beside me. several times i close my eyes and count to ten, thinking that when i open them, he will have materialized without a sound as he so often did. i have to remind myself that gale's in 2 with a fancy job, probably kissing another pair of lips.
I guess it really didn't even dawn on me that you could be a rock critic as a job until i was maybe almost out of college. I knew criticism existed. I read rolling stone and spin. Siskel and ebert were on television. But i had absolutely no idea how to get that kind of life. And moreover, it didn't interest me that much. I just sort of read normal books growing up. I wasn't that media-conscious. I felt like the one thing i was able to do was to listen to a record and decide whether i liked it.
That's the difference between the serious artist and the craftsman--the craftsman can take material and because of his abilities do a professional job of it. the serious artist, like proust, is like an object caught by a wave and swept to shore. he's obsessed by his material; it's like a venom working in his blood and the art is the antidote.