While gathering notes (pertaining to a specific project) that are scattered across 10+ years of gardening, I found (several days ago) a paragraph
I deleted from a September 2015 posting which relates to an interview
of writer Siri Hustvedt, May 2019, I saw today, titled “‘I’m writing for my life’.”
She says “…‘I want to write another novel, but I also want to write this philosophical book, and I have many, many essays now that I should put together in another collection’.” Then, “she drops her voice to a whisper,” says the interviewer: “…‘I’m a little nuts, I am working like a maniac to get it in before I die.’” She’s 65.
The 2015 paragraph of mine that was deleted is:
I saw an article last night about a violin prodigy who became a famous rheumatologist [in S. F.] and diedMs. Hustvedt was interviewed in light of recently publishing another novel. I found the interview after finding an email I sent to her, Decem-
last week while working at his desk, age 104, reportedly having intended to renew his driver’s license at 105.
Now, there’s “being toward death”!
ber 2016, after reading a NYTimes review of a collection of her essays,
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.
I praised her engagement with integrating literary and scientific interests, which the reviewer tended to not do. “I can tell already,” I wrote (after noting that the book was on order, so I hadn’t yet read her), “that Ms. Gornick [the reviewer] is betraying her own aversion to scientifically informed literary inquiry.” I associated Ms. Hustvedt’s “engagement with notions of self” with some “tomes” I had (have) on my priority-reading shelves. “I was delighted to read Ms. Gornick say (somewhat critically for her, but exciting for me) that you are ‘someone who swallowed a library.’ I thought: Wonderful! I need more, more! resources to enjoy.”
“In my life,” I avowed, “I invest my own ‘plea for eros’ [a central theme of hers] in a generativity of consilience—lovely notion, isn't it?—across modes of exhilarating exploration, a conception of scientific artistry that I'm gardening.”
I ended by coyly responding to myself:
“Thank you, Gary. Good wishes for your explorations.”That 2016 note to her happened 15 months after I confessed desire,
Yes, it’s a precious thing, loving to learn.
via my “literairy living” blog, Sept. 2015, to develop a domain I now call conceptual literary studies. The above “paragraph of mine that was deleted” was from the first version of that “literairy living” post.
The notes I’ve gathered, the past week or so, from sundries of the past decade, are for that conceptual literary project.
A plight of aging while still as inspired as when I was at 25 is the sense of “being toward death” that Heidegger precursorily addressed in Being and Time (so influential, in my 20s), though he was in his mid-30s,
but living in the wake of The Great War (the holocaust before The Holocaust).
I reject the Buddhist notion that life is essentially suffering, yet
I’m regularly haunted by recurring senses of tragedy, just by being
So, what’s the good of words?
That question isn’t cynical. It’s the quest of humanities, which “Literature” aspires to further.
Finding in the aura of infatuations my own aspirations is a good way
a story continues, like True Love letting her sail on.