Two interesting quotes from an essay on a writer I doubt I'd enjoy reading.
In the New Yorker (Aug. 25, 3014) James Wood is writing about James Kelman, a Scottish writer who writes fiction mostly about the working class in a particular part of Scotland. Woods writes that Kelman's characters, while not engaging in flights of imagination or even deep thought, insist on "the play and the liberty...of the mind." "More desperately, it's that they see privacy as the last unmortgaged, unindebted, unsold space, always on the verge of being invaded by the materialism of survival that tyrannizes the rest of life."
Well, as a kid in a working class culture, and then as a student being groomed for the middle class, I felt very much the same. The privacy of thought, the resistance to its violation. And this is linked to Woods' other fine phrase, about a story "in which hope and fatalism are evenly weighted, and only fantasy retains any dignity."
Yes. There's a thread in my non-non-fiction writing fits for the past forty-plus years that plays with the various notions of "nothing," and with pluses and minuses that cancel out somehow. It is finally only the writing, the fantasy, that has any certainty about it, though only in those moments of creation or initial inhabiting. Or as I put it in a song that I wrote and have been singing (secretly most of the time) since the early 1970s...well, I keep them secret awhile long.