Friday, June 26, 2015
I am not waking up cheery. Grumpy Pants somebody said. It is true. I'm a Grumpy Pants man. I don't see an immediate remedy, an immediate end, to it, though. Keeping quiet is the best way for me to survive it without pissing everybody off. Silent Old Grumpy Pants. I can be silent, but my visage will not change. There is no hiding that.
Saying that I am grumpy is not the same as complaining, right? I began to complain in this second paragraph and then deleted it. Details are the hallmark of good writing, but not all details are good. Q and I were talking about Peter Matthiessen's writing the other day. He is a good example of someone who liked to be detailed in his writing, sometimes overly, I think. His writing was often like the "Cetology" chapter in Melville's "Moby Dick." One is well advised just to skip that chapter. It adds nothing to the novel. But by god, there is a lot of detail in it.
Impressionism in writing, like Hemingway's, gives just the idea of a detail, enough for the reader to create his or her own hazy picture of the thing. Symbolic detail--that will do.
Who's your favorite nature writer? There are a number of good ones. Matthiessen was one. I don't mean to disparage his work.
But I met him on several occasions, and he was a Grumpy Pants.
I'm not thinking well, so I will turn to silence for the time being. Maybe I will go to the beach today and bathe my spirit in ocean water. A bright direction there.