Friday, September 16, 2011

Any Questions?

Here you are, wedged between a rock and a hard place.

Nor is it lost on you that with deliberation, you navigate yourself between rocks and hard places by design on a daily basis in the process you have come to associate with writing.  You do this because of your fondness for forcing issues; in particular, you enjoy forcing issues within yourself.

Today's rock and hard place become an irony as well.

Irony, of course, is a disconnect in the pattern of reality as it unfolds; it is also saying one thing and meaning its opposite.  I am so happy to see you.  Yeah, yeah.  Irony is inferential suggestion that you mean and intend for interpretation a meaning other than what you say.  Irony, kicked a tidy bit in the butt become sarcasm.

The rock and hard place of today are your literary agent and your publisher's publicist, both of whom are most sincere in wishing positive results for you and your undertakings.  Each of them has suggested that your presentations tend toward the professorial.  To this description of professorial, they add the attribution "graduate-level," by which they mean pissy-assed pedantry.

True enough, you do favor the occasional ramble of a sentence which moseys like a happy drunk, walking home, sauntering into dependent clauses much in the manner of Henry James, for whom you have lower levels of enthusiasm than you have for, say, James M. Cain.  But by and large, you groove on the declarative sentence so frowned upon by academics.

Of equal truth to tell, you were thinking about the way the expression "between a rock and a hard place" parallels Scylla and Charybdis, both of whom started their careers as sea nymphs, then ran afoul of tenure committees.  It is probably worse to be between Scylla and Charybdis than a rock and a hard place.  One immediate risk is that you will be thought of as academic in addition to the original plight that placed you between two such forces.  Fuck that.  You went with rock and a hard place, right off.  For that matter, you wouldn't have used Scylla and Charybdis before a graduate class unless you were in a rant in which you were pissed over the lowering of awareness in general and the lowering of references to classical antiquity in specific, simply because you think it's a pretty good idea to have some awareness of what those dudes were doing.

Whether rock and hard lace or Scylla and Charybdis, languorous sentences or simple declarative, the consensus is of you at peak performance in spontaneous answers to Q & A.  Fucking forget about having to give the topic of a subject before you are invited to speak about it or, indeed that either rock or hard place suggested the topic in the first place; you are tarred with the brush of having taught at the graduate level and, sometimes in ironic circumstances, forced to serve on committees.

This is powerful input for a man who does, after all, wish to communicate in meaningful and memorable example.

There!  You have said it without so much as a pause to think about it; you wish to convey scenes, impressions, layers, subtexts, and nuances as opposed to mere words.

Put that between your rock and hard place.  

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