Thursday, December 11, 2008
Am I Reclusive? A Misanthrope? Just Plain Weird?
Yesterday I read about a Toni Morrison appearance and about the boring questions she got from the audience. I was nodding my head because after all, how often does anybody really come up with an interesting question for an author? Ms. Morrison was asked which authors she would enjoy meeting or speaking with and she said something to the effect that just because she liked a certain author's work didn't mean she'd want to actually meet that person.
I have to agree. The only authors I'd like to meet in person are the ones I've "met" on line. I don't think that really counts because I think of them as nice people who just happen to be writers.
The older I get, the less interested I become in people I don't already know and I'm wondering if that's weird, or if that's pretty normal.
If I could have dinner with six people living or dead, I have a hard time listing strangers I'd legitimately want to spend time with. I don't have any interest in meeting celebrities at all.
I love Ian McEwan's work, but what in the world would I talk to him about for three hours? Would I really care about cultivating a relationship with someone if the encounter was a one-time phenomenon and not an opportunity to develop a friendship? It could still be an interesting meeting, but then how would I know whether a famous person would be particularly likable if all I know is his or her work?
If I were to assemble a dinner table full of people, I'd resurrect the dearly departed from my own family. How fantastic would it be to have both of my grandparents, my parents and my Uncle Phil all back in one place again?
So what about you? Would you spend time with a famous person if you had the chance and if you would, who would it be and what would you hope to learn?
Am I a misanthrope, is this normal or is this just my thyroid talking?
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It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.