Tagged: writing

Heraclitus and Writing

Pigs delight in the mire more than in clean water. (Heraclitus, Fragment 13) As a writer, I believe I have consistently striven to find the clean water. But striving and succeeding are two different things, and all searches begin in the fog. Hence, I concede that I may, in spite of my best intentions, have had “my moment among the pigs” — which...

So you want to be a writer?

Yesterday, as occasionally happens, a good student who has maintained a regular correspondence with me even after graduation, and who is an avid reader of modern and classic literature, sent me this simple message regarding her future prospects: “I think I want to be a writer.” The following is my reply. What does that mean, “I want to be a writer”? A writer...

A Devil Speaks

Many are cheering on Rand Paul in his demand that Anthony Fauci be fired for his role in funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab and then repeatedly denying this fact to the U.S. Congress. Is it wrong for me to hope that Fauci will never be fired, and on the contrary that he will continue to live in the public eye —...

Reflections on Writing and Writers

Anyone who writes for attention is not a real writer. Writing is spiritualized hiding. It is no accident that Shakespeare, the greatest of all writers, is the one about whose life and person we know the least. He wrote dozens of the most magnificent works in literary history, and yet we are not certain who he was — or even whether he was....

New Year’s Resolutions

Try not to hate humans en masse, no matter how infuriatingly inhuman and inhumane they collectively become. Remind myself every day that a population raised from earliest childhood to belittle itself and aggrandize the state can hardly be expected to view itself and the world any differently than in accordance with its lifelong training. Consider humanity, for at least ten minutes a day,...

Random Reflections of a Distorted Moment

I increasingly find myself entertaining this thought: How could anyone be so immovably incredulous in the face of a defeat, so certain even in advance that defeat would in itself be evidence of cheating — unless he believed with some reason that he already had the game rigged in his favor, such that a loss could only mean “something went horribly wrong”? A...

Standards

The best writer writes as the most intimate friend speaks, namely as though he were talking to himself, and for himself. He also hesitates to take his writing too seriously, and may even be suspicious of it. The best teacher is not the one who can answer all your questions, but rather the one who knows how to ask questions, and what the...

The Infinite Reach of Rational Souls

Nobody hears what you are saying. Nobody sees what you are seeing. Nobody senses what you are feeling, or would understand why you feel that way if they did sense it. Has there ever been a lonelier time than today? Indeed, how many of us fully realized before today that a time can be lonely? I am not talking about subjective time, of...

Of Fish and Ponds: Advice for Aspiring Writers

One of the constants of the writer’s life is the underlying question, almost never explicitly asked, but in a sense always implicitly answered in his work: “What is a writer?” The answers to this question are as varied as the motives of those who write — which, contrary to our age’s ubiquitous relativism, is not to say that everyone who writes is a...