I haven’t been able to write lately.
I didn’t think it was because I couldn’t write, but because my life had become so busy with things outside of literary concerns that I couldn’t scrape together a few sentences out of the limited time allotted to my packed days.
But maybe I should talk to Mr. Naipaul about this. He might have a better insight than myself.
Perhaps my genitals are creating some dam between my brain and the page, or a weight under which my brain collapses like so much fluffy gelatinous goo, an ambrosia salad of inferiority and sublimation.
Ambrosia salad. Will you look at that? I wrote about some sort of feminine concern, because as we all know ambrosia salad could only be a concern of womenfolk.
I can’t remember the last time I ate ambrosia salad. Maybe that’s because I’m a woman.
The truth is, it just might come down to my “narrow view.” It was something I hadn’t considered before, but my vagina might be narrowing my perspective, hampering my ability to write. I think Mr. Naipaul’s line of thinking is pretty right on: “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.”
I’ve talked to my husband Lars and he’s definitely interested in a partnership. But now I’m just going to have to put my foot down and demand dictator status because otherwise I can’t write.
I’m curious how this is going to play out. Our roles have been poorly defined in the past, shifting and changing to accommodate the needs of our small family and the circumstances swirling around us, but I’m going to take a firm hand and demand Mastery over the Housery.
Which roles will that leave me? I hope that means I don’t have to do dishes anymore.
Ha! I forgot. I hardly ever do dishes.
I guess I’ll have to take control over the finances because money sounds like the jurisdiction of The Master.
Wait, I do that already.
I’m going to have to start being a little handier. Build things. Use my hands.
Nope. I do that too. I’ll just have to start beating Lars about the head and neck to shore up my position.
About women writers and specifically Jane Austen, Mr. Naipaul said he “couldn’t possibly share her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world”.
I guess it’s all this sentimentality just bleeding through everything we write that makes us complete patsys. I’m going to have to evaluate such sentimental passages from Austen like: “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal,” which positively wallows in sentimentality.
And what of my own writing? I’m going to review all 400+ essays, fripperies, sentimental hogwash that I’ve written and strip them of sentiment, replacing it with good, solid masculine…I don’t know…non-sentimentality. Because god knows that sentiment is the sign of weakness, pettiness, shallowness, foolishness, but most importantly, humanity.
About my father’s death I recently wrote,
I sat by my father’s bed, shadows and light filling the hours through which we waited for his end. And when it came, the world was blue, day only hinted in the barest needle of light peeking through his thin linen curtains, the outlines of trees and plants suggestions to be filled in at some other hour. The stillness of the hour and the light was an hour in which Dad was quite at home, painting them in deep purples and blues, echoed in dawns and dusks, the bookends to each day, hinting at wonder without revealing too much.
In these quiet hours, in this quiet light, Dad was at home.
I’m going to edit it so that it reads,
I sat by my father’s bed and then he died.
That will remove any suspicion that I am either a) a woman and b) sentimental. I hope Mr. Naipaul appreciates the effort I’m making to become a better writer.