Thursday, July 30, 2009

PYNCHON MIDNIGHT PARTY IN THE ATL

The incomparable Frank Reiss (he keeps his extra copies of J. Joyce in the store loo) is having a midnight party in honor of the dropping of the new Pynchon (yes, holding a new Pynchon, it's like getting a brand new pair of testicles handed to ya!), in his store, A Capella Books, in Little Five Points, this Monday. In clear contradiction to the store's name, a band apparently will perform, no doubt a quaternion fronted by the immortal (or at least seriously cranky) Pig Bodine himself! Oh, I will take that trip down the Van Iseghemlaan, moz def, incongruously yet cleverly disguised as Wanda Tinasky, handing out flemish mayo and snausage sandwiches to all and sunder, re-enacting in postmodern dance each and every page of Gravity's Rainbow, and will those bottles of Solange St.-Emilion in those plastic bags slosh ever so eruditely, enliving our sleepless night -- my friends -- of a little light reading!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ORE OR GENE

On Salon, in a piece by Scott Rosenberg (whoever he is), this sentence, sweet and unchecked, caught my eye:

“It's a mistake to think of human creativity as a kind of limited natural resource, like an ore waiting for society to mine; it is more like a gene that will turn on given the right cues.”*

I am always amazed at how easily we do exempt the mind from fetters.

No American in her right mind would dare to ascribe athletic prowess to each and every one of us, yet there we go: Inside each of us lurks an untapped Picasso; if given just the right mix of Cabernet and Pinot Noir, our pens would flow with abundantly touching visions of our inner Macondos; yes, inside every Sarah Palin hides the ghost of Thomas Jefferson; in every humdrum architect sings Sir Christopher Wren.

Is the reality so hard to swallow, then? The plain, humble acceptance of the fact that most of us – present company most certainly included – are simply not that great?

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* It would be interesting to see this point argued rather than posited. I cannot think of any study that shows this, but then I perhaps haven't worked in the field of creativity research long enough.