Friday, January 13, 2012

Saul Bellow on Symbolism

In today's internet travels I came across this essay by Saul Bellow, circa 1959. (I have lost the trail of breadcrumbs and can't say where I found it, sorry. It's been a big day for me and the internet.) Having thoroughly steeped in the very "deep reading" Bellow denounces, I find it marvelously refreshing.

Perhaps the deepest readers are those who are least sure of themselves. An even more disturbing suspicion is that they prefer meaning to feeling. What again about the feelings? Yes, it’s too bad. I’m sorry to have to ring in this tiresome subject, but there’s no help for it. The reason why the schoolboy takes refuge in circles is that the wrath of Achilles and the death of Hector are too much for him. He is doing no more than most civilized people do when confronted with passion and death. They contrive somehow to avoid them.

Yoga Bitch Named a Best Northwest Book of 2011

The holidays have effectively drawn and quartered me, and I'm still recuperating, but today I remembered that I never blogged about Crosscut's Best Northwest Books of 2011, which included my little Yoga Bitch! As Robert McCrum notes over at the Guardian in his Fifty Things I've Learned About the Literary Life, "Lists are the curse of the age." And indeed, he is right. But goodness me, if it isn't nice to be listed anyhow.

YB also just went into its third printing, which is thrilling, to say the least. To celebrate, I've been having a non-stop panic attack about getting started on the new book again. Just kidding. Well-- kind of.

Here's the Crosscut list.

In other news, I've been reading an overwhelming amount of D.H. Lawrence lately and am actively suppressing the urge to describe the glorious sunset out my window in three pages of Lawrentian prose. As I am not D.H. Lawrence, we should all be relieved at my powers of restraint.

Happy New Year!