By George Fetherling
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Extra resources for The Writing Life: Journals, 1975-2005
Saturday, 4 march / kingston Drafting a new chapter of the memoir. Dave [Godfrey] and Dennis [Lee] at Anansi – I admired them both, though differently, for they were quite different creatures. Dave, the precision of his cynicism. Dennis likes poets only until they achieve their majority; this rankled me for years, but I know now that we all need our methods of staving off death and this 25199_Fetherling. indb 113 2013-02-08 10:48:50 114 The Writing existence used to be his. His prehensile curiosity in toryism. [George] Grant, [Graeme] Gibson et al. were writing from a far more elevated class position than he was. 1 friday, 24 march / kingston I’ve liked working in the newsroom (of course I like puppies, too). yet I’m not sure I wish to continue for much longer when each phone call brings new chaos and generalised nastiness. Today, however, is quite the opposite in its tenor (but the same in its effect). The point in any case is that I’m into one of my periods of darkness, a rite of purification: a thousand tiny suicides. “Cast down your silence and follow me. ” But what is it that’s being expunged, what am I treating with such acts of cauterisation? Am I responding to an injury? Induce bleeding to assess the flow, then suture the wound. The rollercoaster effects of these days are hard on the body, of course. They underscore the fact that, okay, I have no long-range plan, yet possibly none is attainable. We needs to continue from one crisis to the next. tuesday, 9 may / kingston The important point I’ve learned these past couple of months is that it’s foolish and childish at my age to keep seeking approval. Supply myself with satisfaction by making my own work and let that be enough to lubricate me. Now if only I can make myself remember the lesson the next time terror strikes. wednesday, 10 may / kingston Rexroth on Tolstoy: “From the starting of prepared society, or at least from the beginning of written documents, there have always been people who challenged and rejected this state of affairs [the Social Lie]. frequently they have been individuals of the institution themselves; Buddha and Tolstoy were both princes. Obviously the mute inglorious victims who have continuously borne the burden of ‘The System’ are unknown to history, except in moments of social turmoil when some renegade from the ranks of the literate and privileged has spoken for them. 1 George furnish (1918−1988), nationalist philosopher, writer of Lament for a kingdom. 25199_Fetherling. indb 114 2013-02-08 10:48:50 1989 a hundred and fifteen It is hard to say of any given period of history or of any people, even our contemporaries, how appropriate the genuine bulk of society reveals the principles upon which it is organized. As a matter of fact, most people except politicians and authors work out for themselves, in secret, ways of living which ignore organized society as much as possible. After five or six thousand years much of life is still private, extraordinarily resistant to the mechanisms of civilization, even, or perhaps especially, in the such a lot robust and authoritarian states.