Someone, a literarily very talented person, told me that I'm a very good writer. The arid night had the surprising signature of moisture. I could have sworn that I believed that the washed out sky should have had the full milky moon. And the voice, in its calmness betrayed anger, in its monotonicity-sarcasm. Now Sarcasm is a beautiful thing. I adore good sarcasm for its fluid, razorlike strokes which can make clean incisions without making you immediately aware of the gravity of the cuts. Like an altimeter, it celebrates with equal vivacity both height and depth at the same time, depth being the more sinister part of the equation. The higher the praise, the greater the schism and, thereby, the more biting the actual intent. I am, therefore, happy that on that calm, windy night I wasn't pronounced an excellent writer.
So do I care? I wonder... what exactly is good writing? Wilde's 'The decay of lying' is one of those pieces of literature which has left a lasting impression on my thinking. More than it being a praise of the 'art of lying', it is an emotional and resounding case for the plain, simple joy of unbridled expression which is unmindful of the clutches of reality, and heedless of the boundaries of mere reason. 'What is a good lie? Simply that which is its own evidence.' Unapologetic, unabashed, bare, brazen, and honest. And it doesn't take a huge stretch of imagination to see that the only effort in this world that is completely unapologetic, wholly unabashed is the one that is done for one's own happiness and nothing else. By extension, good writing, like a good lie is one that gives pleasure to the writer. And I cannot really think of any other activity which is as pleasurable to me as the effort that makes a set of words not just a sentence but so much more. When the transmittance of a mere idea is taken from the dull precincts of efficiency and elevated by grammatical adornments and lexical embellishments, when surprising connections are revealed between mundane reality and obscure ideas through weird interconnections of neurons, to quote Fry, when the tripping of the tip of the tongue touches the top of the teeth to transport one to giddy euphoric bliss, when... I think we get the idea. So do I care? Not if incorporating any changes suggested to me would decrease the amount of pleasure I derive from the effort.
Sorry for being a slacker these last few weeks :).