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Clarence R. He has done well with submissions: an American Short Fiction prize two years ago turned into a Best American prize last year. Should I hire a marketer? A college student? A virtual assistant? A freelance publicist? Ideally, I would hand my teeming file of writing to a deeply organized soul who would go to town organizing it, strategizing about where to submit, and then send work out like mad, using my cover letters.
I could offer bonuses for work that was accepted, along with a fair hourly wage. And the prospect of sacrificing therapy sessions for a publishing assistant seems dubious, to say the least. Another one of my favorite productivity gurus, Greg McKeown, whose latest tome, EffortlessI devoured in the way I no longer devour novels see: industry wearinesssuggests asking yourself these questions when approaching a thorny task: How could this be easy?
And: How am I making this too complicated? Last week, during a lull from teaching responsibilities, I decided I would look over old pieces and edit them in the morning, and then send each story out to five places in the afternoon. Simple, right? Log into Submittable, copy and paste the cover letter, attach the short story file, basta!
Sitting down at my laptop to submit again reminded me why I always avoided it. Trying to figure out if a magazine is in a reading period. Trying to scout out the appropriate editor on the masthead. Alejandro, scandalously, told me that he just addresses his letters to an anonymous Editor. Trying to decide what my list of publications should be. Do I attempt a college admissions approach, with reaches and safeties?
For a long time after my divorce, six years ago, I refused to date online. I wanted connection to happen naturally, in the real world. Unfortunately, this meant I jumped at every odd encounter that occasionally crossed my path, just to prove to myself that this organic method was serving me well.
When I finally took the plunge and signed up for dating apps, it took six months of good, shitty, and largely underwhelming dates before meeting Alejandro.
I was his first Bumble date, go figure. I told you he was lucky when it came to submissions. And now that I think about it, he totally lured me by touting that recent ASF short story prize in his dating profile, as if I were another magazine editor instead of a romantic prospect.
Scrolling through lit mags the way I once swiped through faces and profiles. Over the years, my writing has gotten more experimental, and prospective publishers for later Dreams Of War - My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies Over Dreaming Lady (CD) will likely look much different than publishers for work from my 20s and early 30s, just as my romantic partners have changed along with shifts in my personality and my priorities.
New plan. I met him on the train. He has a plan to stay in Cambridge permanently. But is this? Is it the world? Wittgenstein is celebrated and detested for this aphoristic quality, with pronouncements offered as if directly from the Sibylline grove. The entire first chapter is only seven sentences, and can easily be arranged as a stanza read for its prosody just as easily as a logician can analyze it for rigor:.
Its repetition unmistakably evokes poetry. The way in which each sentence builds to a crescendo of increasing length, from starting with a simple independent clause to a trio of lines that are composed of independent and dependent clauses, hitting a peak in the exact middle of the stanza, and then returning to independent clauses, albeit the final line being the second longest sentence in the poem.
They are as vague as is possible, while still connotating a definite something. All great philosophers claim that theirs is the work that demolishes philosophy, and Wittgenstein is only different in that the Tractatus actually achieves that goal.
At its core are unanswerable questions of silence, meaninglessness, and unuttered poetry. The closest that Western philosophy has ever come to the Tao. Of the Viennese Wittgensteins, Ludwig was raised in an atmosphere of unimaginable wealth. As a boy, the salons of the family mansions there were 13 in the capital alone were permeated with the music of Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms performed by the composers themselvesthe walls were lined with commissioned golden-shimmer paintings by Gustave Klimt, and the rocky bespoke sculptures of August Rodin punctuated their courtyards.
His four brothers were to be trained for industry, and to be patrons of art, music, poetry, and philosophy, with absolutely no failure in any regard to be countenanced. Strangely, like many assimilated and converted Jews within Viennese society, a casual antisemitism prevailed among the Wittgensteins. And so at the risk of indulging an armchair version of that other great Viennese vocation of psychoanalysis, Wittgenstein made the impossibility of being able to say certain things the center of his philosophy.
There were economic benefits to being a Wittgenstein, but little else. Austere Ludwig—a cinema-handsome man with a personality somehow both dispassionate and intense—tried to methodically shuffle off his wealth, which had hung from his neck along with the anchor of respectability.
As it was, eventually the entire fortune would be commandeered by the Nazis, but before that Wittgenstein dispensed with his inheritance literally. With his new independence, Wittgenstein moved to simple log cabin on a Norwegian fjord where he hoped to revolutionize logic.
His evening meal which I shared last night is rather unpleasant coarse bread, butter and cocoa. Logic pushed to the extremes of prosody. The Tractatus was the only complete book Wittgenstein published in his lifetime, and the slender volume is composed of a series of propositions arranged within one another like an onion.
Its seven main propositions are asserted axiomatically, their self-evidence stated without argument or equivocation—a book not of examples or evidence, but of sentences.
His concern was the relationship between language and reality, how logic is able or not able to offer a picture of the world, and his conclusions circumscribe philosophy— he solves all metaphysical problems by demonstrating that they are meaningless.
When you come to Ludwig Wittgenstein on the road, you must kill him. When Wittgenstein arrived at the Cambridge University office of the great British philosopher Bertrand Russell inhe had no formal training. Biographer Ray Monk maintains in Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius that his subject had never even read Aristotle despite sharing an affinity with him. During his time there he invented several different metal airplane propeller blades exemplary in their ingenuity, but he was unfulfilled and despondent.
He had come to believe that only philosophy could cure his spiritual malaise, and so Wittgenstein spent three years at Cambridge, where he travelled in intellectual circles that included the philosopher G.
Moore and the economist John Maynard Keynes. Finally, he was also able to live openly with a lover, a psychologist named David Pinsent. He would dedicate the Tractatus to Pinsent, his partner ironically killed in an airplane crash training for the war that they fought on the opposite sides of. After his return to Austria, Wittgenstein worked a multitude of disparate jobs—he was a school-teacher in Dreams Of War - My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies Over Dreaming Lady (CD) Alps, unpopular for discharging corporal punishment; he was a gardener in a monastery and inquired about taking vows ; and he was an architect of uncommon brilliance, designing a modernist masterpiece for his sister called the Haus Wittgenstein, which in its alabaster parsimony and cool rectilinear logic recalls the Bauhaus.
When that building was completed inWittgenstein finally returned to Cambridge, where he would be awarded a PhD even though he took no courses and sat for no exams. Russell had recognized that not all genius need be constrained in the seminar room.
Hubris aside, Dreams Of War - My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies Over Dreaming Lady (CD) was dogged by a not unfounded fear that the Tractatus would be misinterpreted, not least of all by analytical philosophers like Russell who valorized logic as holy writ. Twentieth-century philosophy has long suffered schism between two broadly irreconcilable perspectives on what the discipline even exists to do.
There are the analytical philosophers like Russell, Gottlieb Frege, G. Moore, and so on including, technically, Wittgensteinwho see the field as indistinguishable from logic, to the point where its practice shares more in common with mathematics than Socrates. Associated with scholarly work in Europe, largely in France and Germany, a primary question to a continental philosopher like Martin Heidegger could be, as he writes in What Is Metaphysics?
This is the question. Wittgenstein would perhaps also see it as meaningless—though not at all in the same way as his advisor, and that makes all the difference. But if the Vienna Circle agreed with Wittgenstein about how much of traditional philosophy was nonsense, the latter invested that nonsense with a sublimity they were blind toward. Perhaps the earliest to misinterpret the Tractatus, of which the Vienna Circle were nonetheless avid readers, Schlick invited Wittgenstein to address them in When he arrived, rather than giving a lecture, Wittgenstein turned a chair to the wall, began to rock back and forth and recited the verse of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Of course, there are then no questions left, and this itself is the answer. Understood as a genius, interpreted as a rationalist, treated as an enigma, and appearing as a mystic, Wittgenstein was ultimately a poet. In a world limited by language, then it is language itself that constitutes the world.
Poetry, rather than logic, is all that is the case. We were getting ready to go to the community pool last weekend, packing all the things we needed: towels, sunblock, water, change of clothes, etc. He looked at me. We have two children, one eight and one three. The three-year-old cannot swim.
The eight-year-old can and requires an audience. There is perhaps a 10 minute window when I might be able to read uninterrupted. And yet I had to bring those books. Because…what if I did have time? But what if I was? Or what if I was in the mood for fiction, and I felt like reading the literary magazine that had just come in the mail?
This is true. My husband is the one who reads near bodies of water. He also has a realistic grasp on the number of hours in a day. He always brings one book with him on vacation, and he reads that one book. I love the part where they go fishing and have a picnic and keep the wine bottles cold in the stream. Just thinking about that scene makes me want to read that book again.
When I go on vacation, I always take too many books with me. On my first big trip with my husband—before we had children—I packed five novels and then bought magazines at the airport.
I read the magazines on the plane and the novels languished in my bag. There was no time to read. We were Dreams Of War - My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies Over Dreaming Lady (CD) around Spain, walking and eating and talking. And I knew that would be the case. Yet I packed the books. In my mind, we were traveling to a place where we would somehow have time to see all the sights and also relax for several hours every morning, and to read books.
A place with hour days. I ask myself where this fantasy comes from and I think—as with so many things—it goes back to childhood.
When I was 10 years old, my family moved from New Hampshire to western Maryland. It was the year of Brood X, and I remembered the thick whine of the cicada song in the air when we arrived. When that was over, my mother took me to the library and told me to get out as many books as I wanted. When we got home, she gave me a glass of lemonade and the foldable wing chair and told me to find a spot outside in the shade to read—preferably a place where she could see me from her office window.
And so began a summer ritual that lasted through middle school. I loved how unrestricted summer reading was. You could read as much as you wanted, and whatever you wanted—there was no one interrupting you to do homework in other subjects or to get ready for soccer practice.
You could read more than one book at once, dipping into one and then another and back again. You could read books you were too young for—hello, John Irving! You could read comics and sci-fi and celebrity biographies alongside the classics. I doubt James was hanging clothes out on the line or preparing dinner.
My leisurely afternoons began to disappear midway through high school, when I started to work in the summers, and were gone by my 20s—though I did have more empty afternoons for reading in my 20s than I do now. But in my 20s, the Internet began to encroach on my time, and I also began to read with greater purpose—to learn the craft of writing or to gain knowledge to think critically about a particular issue. That has never gone away. Just last week, our local library Dreams Of War - My Infinite Kingdom - Ecstasies Over Dreaming Lady (CD) finally opened for browsing.
My pile was more modest—just two books. But as we walked home together and my son chatted about what he would read first, I took vicarious pleasure in his excitement. I wish I could say that I read alongside him, but the truth is cleaned up, attended to his younger sister, made lunch, and then finished up some of my own work.
Some years ago, I attended a conference featuring boldface names and their thoughts on the topic of the essay as art. I was desperate for tips, tricks, and whatever writerly chum they throw to audiences at events like these. I jotted his words in a Moleskine notebook and have been turning them over in my head and on the page ever since. The best essays are trips to terra nova, yes; but at heart, all essays depend on a simple sense of camaraderie. From the first word to the last, the writer of an essay is a guide, even if the piece never gets out of first gear.
Each essay is a fellowship. Her thoughts go places no one else can see. I read it for the first time one winter night. I had a good hunch the moon would slip between sun and Earth in the narrative. By the end of the piece I was like, wait, wait, who is this woman? She gets regular hat tip tweets, often quotations from her first prose book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creekor from The Writing Lifeher slim but wise book on craft. Writers admire her sleek writing and crisp turns of phrase, but plenty of her fans just love love love her without knowing how to explain why.
For one thing, her prose is sharp as a chert blade. It ends imperceptibly at an atom. Each one of these delicate, absurd objects takes hundreds of separate blows to fashion.
At each stroke and each pressure flake, the brittle chert might — and, by the record, very often did — snap. She teaches you things. Not showy facts to prove her smarts. Not cheap trivia any sixth grader with a library card could tell you.
This March, my nine-year-old asked how the frogs in the park could survive if their pond froze over. But Dillard knows. She did the work and put the answer right there on page 47 of the reissue of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. On its face, this is absurd. She received a National Humanities Medal. She has written books that will outlive her.
So what then is it that bothers me about how we talk about Annie Dillard? A few years ago, no less a writer than Geoff Dyer attempted to position Dillard as a single star in the firmament of writers. He surveys her career in search of an answer to the question of what kind of writer she is exactly. Lawrence demonstrates. Near the end of his Dillard piece, Dyer triangulates her position with respect to other writers he admires. Then he stops. Such difficulty in classifying Dillard is not unusual.
You see it in casual profiles but also in scholarly essays and surveys of her work. In all these appreciations, all these assessments, each commentator, no matter how gifted or thoughtful—not a single one of them speaks of Dillard as if she belongs. She is a strange katydid, a demon flower.
I do not excuse myself from this diagnosis, either. The way we talk about Annie Dillard makes me both sad and afraid. Sad because we are unable to appreciate in full the words she has written if we cannot see how she is, in the final analysis, just one of us.
And afraid because affixing someone with otherness is the first stage in allowing that someone to be forgotten, and I am afraid of a world where writing such as hers could surface and then vanish. Or texts. Her very first book, Tickets for a Prayer Wheelwas a poetry collection pieced together six years after she graduated from college.
She found a publisher to bring it out in Or, at least, not just a poet. And she did it before dust could even collect on the first remaindered stacks of her poetry. The edition that I bought earlier this year has a four page About Annie Dillard section and not one but two Afterwords, just in case I lose one, I suppose. Upon its initial release, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek was praised by many critics, but there were more than a few notable voices with reservations.
She also wanted more voices. Only in paperback did it catch on. For all its merits, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is not a page-turner. I can do that. And then she did. I marvel far more at later books like the aforementioned For the Time Being or Teaching a Stone to Talkher almost perfect essay collection. The structure of Pilgrim flags because it feels forced.
Sort of the opposite of the impression given by her second book of prose, Holy the Firm. Holy the Firm runs less than 15, words. Twice as long as a long personal essay. Shorter than a feature in a weekend magazine. Yet I suspect more people have read about how she wrote the book—shack, island, airplane, fire—than have read the book itself.
The letters do not smolder on the page, but the ideas surely do. Basically the plot of all her noteworthy work, which is to say, all of her books from here on out. Once she caught her stride, there was no stopping her. In her 40s, Dillard joined the Roman Catholic Church. She told an interviewer that she converted in middle age to keep close to God, even though she did not always agree entirely with the people who worshipped around her. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.
For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return. She employs the language of Christianity and speaks of creation and eternity and grace. Here the judgment on Dillard is brief, swift, and stark. Church Daniel J. Gardner F. May, ; edited by A. In his will, Gardner bequeathed the museum, his ritual tools and objects, notebooks and the copyrights to his books to his High Priestess, Monique Wilson Garreau - The Gospel of John - Catechism.
A Symposium introduction by E. Garrett,E. Garvin, ; Robert E. Garza-Valdes Dr Leoncio A. Hilton Hotema , - Where Is Hell? In Another World or In This? Beresford , ; originally published in France entitled De l'Inconscient au Conscient- Clairvoyance and Materialisation ; originally published in France entitled L'Ectoplasmie et la Clairvoyance.
Jessup, Kingston A. George - Christianity and Extraterrestrials? Gibbons Brian J. Gibson; Litzka R. Gibson; Walter B. Gibson Edward S. Giger's Necronomicon introduction by Clive Barker,; originally published in German in - H.
Gilbert Robert A. Gilbert - A. Gilbert R. MacGregor Mathers And J. Brodie-Innes edited and introduced by R. Gilbert; - Hermetic Papers of A. Gilbert; - The Rise of Victorian Spiritualism. Wynn Westcott, R.
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