These essays are part of the series A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras, commissioned by my impossible friend Daniela Cascella who is guest editor at MAP. I told D that lockdowns and an indefinite pandemic were killing my lit vibe, and she invited me to write about this. The crux of the essays, then, is really: reading for pleasure is great > finding delight or the richness of life in reading is even better > but it only gets you so far.
They were hard essays to write but it seemed important to write through – write into – the moment. If nothing else, I think I have done that.
Both essays feature original images made by my good friend and frequent collaborator Michelle Lynn Dyrness – it always feels like a little bit of magic to have her work respond to and accompany mine.
I have published a piece on Medium titled Who Needs Anything Anymore? — about writing, reading and technology during the pandemic. This piece has existed in various incarnations for almost 12 months now, and, maybe tellingly, no where has been especially interested in publishing it. But I really wanted it out of my head and removed from my writing path, so it was either here or Medium.
Now, I’m clearly 5-6 years late to Medium, and trawling through the stories it looks like it’s overrun with bitcoin, wellness and conspiracy theory content. Possibly I’ll regret putting it there, but I’m curious to see if it finds any sort of audience. We’re all online more than ever, but online publishing feels increasingly like shouting into the void — also sort of the point of the piece.
The kind of writing that makes me want to write, right now, and write better.
I finished it with the thought that I want to read one very long piece with the same texture as these short pieces and if Josephine writes a very long piece, and I hope she one day does, I will read it.