Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Some Random Photos from SDSU Lecture on Comics, History, and Dan Clowes's GHOST WORLD -- Part of the SDSU Center for Comics Studies Initiatives!
Monday, September 26, 2022
I was so proud to be part of this outstanding series, Write America, now in its final installments -- check out the note on the end of the series, here, in a letter from the series founder Roger Rosenblatt:
Speaking of thanks to Alice, have we not been blessed with the home she provided us? How lucky we are to be the guests of Byrd's Books, just the kind of small, selective, courageous book store we cherish. How lucky, too, to be hosted in every episode by Alice, whose sense of pace and substance has sustained all our readings and conversations. It’s been so good to have a first rate avid reader as our guide.
And Lindsay? When we started working together we came up with her title, executive producer, without having any knowledge of what an executive producer is. Well, now I know. Lindsay has defined the job as someone who manages to do everything, from keeping a complicated schedule of readings, to dealing graciously with every individual problem or question that has arisen, to keeping 135 writers happy –– an achievement worthy of Guinness. Before her, the record was no happy writers, ever. She has been to us as she is to poetry, a remarkable gift.
As for the rest of us, we did and are continuing to do what we could with Write America. If the country has ever been in worse shape –– in terms of living lies and whipping up hatreds –– I’ve never seen it. Whatever moral objections we voiced over the long years, we still felt we knew what country we were living in. Now, we haven’t a clue. Or if we know, the answer is dreadful.
So what can we do? That was the question that pushed Write America into being. One sighs realizing that we probably did very little. But we did something, simply by doing what we do. Virginia Woolf wrote of the shocks of the world making her a writer because she wanted to explain the shocks. We all do it, or we try –– attempting to find connections in chaos, and the useful in everything, perhaps especially in evil and destruction.
With Woolf, we believe that the world is a work of art, and we are parts of the work: “We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” Or we try to be. Writing allows us to inhabit the potential goodness of the world, the healing that occurs in desire if not in fact. And all writing is desire.
I have been honored to be in your company these nearly two years, indeed amazed. I never know what we’ll get at the outset of an episode. And at the end of all of them, I turn to my wife Ginny, and say, with characteristic elegance, “Holy shit!”
Thank you for doing this. We have something to be pleased with, both Write America and the potential value of our work. For better or worse, and for one another, we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.
Below is a recording of the show that featured my writing along with Roger Rosenblatt reading from his forthcoming book with San Diego State University Press, "Cataract Blues."