Monday, June 20, 2011
Dead writers club
I am stimulated by the thoughts that spin the worlds of others, and I benefit from tapping into some of that centrifugal force. A little cross-pollination works wonders. Reading is the best way to put me in touch with another person, as it helps me see the world from their point of view. I become them for a spell—it actually feels like I’m under a spell when I share their experiences. And, because I feel that the acquisition of experience is the reason for living, that can't be a bad thing.
Whether the author lives or is history is immaterial. If you enjoy a book and later discover that the person who wrote it has recently died, then doesn’t make a jot of difference to your enjoyment. I don’t need to relate to anyone in the actual flesh to appreciate what they say. In fact, reading their words is so much better than pow-wowing in real life—that's been my experience. And the corollary of that is that if you’d like to make friends with me, please don't knock on my door. But I wouldn’t ban you from sending me an essay.
Nevertheless, let the buyer—or borrower—of books beware. Don't dwell entirely within anyone's headroom, no matter how comfortable it feels when you first slip between the sheets. Don’t let yourself be completely swept away in the throes of a new love or affair lest you lose your sense of equilibrium and poise. If you are in the habit of reading books then, to act as a counterbalance, I’d strongly suggest that you write one too.