I thought the comments about how our cell phones are made were incredibly telling. I haven’t been out there protesting and I’m still using my iPhone so who am I to judge?
I also want to note how important it is to be informed and to look for opportunities to advocate against child labor and other despicable practices.
If you've never read Brian Morton's novels, I'd recommend them highly. Starting Out in the Evening was made into a fine movie, too, starring Frank Langella. You can't go wrong with that one, A Window Across the River, or Florence Gordon, or any of them, really. They're all gems. (Full disclosure: I know Brian to some degree! He taught at NYU when I was there, though I never took any workshops with him. He was kind enough to blurb my book, though.)
This is a very wise author. An essay of such depth and meaning, told with the ease and understanding of a sage. I LOVED his idea of a book being like a time machine - brilliant.
“ I think we’d be better readers if we realized that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader.”
“Reading a writer like Wharton as a creature of her age might bring a further benefit. It might help us see ourselves as creatures of our own.”
It’s always very dangerous to point a finger, because, yes, as the cliche knows only too well, there are 3 fingers pointing back as ourselves. This is a 10 for me - highly recommended.
Wow. This is a wonderful essay.
From “To take an example almost at random,” to the very end this thing totally explodes. What a grand finale! 10. If you’ve read Edith Wharton, 11.
I agree! I did not see those last three paragraphs coming.
I just re-read a book review I wrote of The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I remember reading it when I lived in Brooklyn. It takes place in Manhattan in the late 19th century and is about a love triangle with one woman who’s part of high society, one who’s opted out, and a man who’s torn.
The only time I’ve been to Seattle, I wandered into a book store and talked to an old man there for a long time. He had all kinds of books, and they were in piles all over the place, but he told me he didn’t have any books by authors who had committed suicide.
A related question to the one in this article: what if a modern day writer has beliefs you don’t agree with?