Readability

Trouble's Up Side

by baldilocksbaldilocks

I voted. You should, too.

To up your lit­er­acy quo­tient and gain an insight into human nature, read this Kevin Williamson piece:

What I have found most inter­est­ing about the recent inves­ti­ga­tions into [T.S.] Eliot is not the high-​minded work of the poet and critic at the height of his pow­ers but the emphat­i­cally low-​minded verse of his lat­ter years, par­tic­u­larly the erotic poems that have pro­duced so much eye-​rolling and squea­mish­ness among cer­tain kinds of low-​minded read­ers. The poems are not very good, but they are inter­est­ing com­pan­ions to the impor­tant ones. Many of them detail Eliot’s encoun­ters with the “Tall Girl,” his epi­thet for Valerie Fletcher, his sec­ond wife. She had been a sec­re­tary at his office and was, in the inescapable biog­ra­phers’ cliché, nearly four decades his junior. What he found with her was sim­ple domes­tic peace, some­thing whose value is most appar­ent to those who have not known it or, as with Eliot, who had not known it for most of their lives.

Eliot’s life had been an unhappy one: the dis­as­trous first mar­riage to a men­tally ill woman, a job he hated in the sub­ter­ranean offices of Lloyd’s bank that for all its demand­ing respectabil­ity failed to keep away finan­cial dif­fi­culty, his own spir­i­tual cri­sis and the con­vul­sions of Europe. Like many great men, he also suf­fered from his own strange cul­ti­va­tion of per­sonal unhap­pi­ness — he was, at times, pos­i­tively creepy, sex­u­ally, socially, and otherwise.

(…)

But he some­how man­aged to find him­self, in the lat­ter part of his life, writ­ing con­tented, sen­ti­men­tal, and oddly spe­cific verse about his love life with his sec­ond wife.

(…)

It is not true that great artists must suf­fer or that genius is only truly unleashed by unhap­pi­ness, though this silly roman­tic notion is immor­tal, and Eliot him­self may have believed some­thing of the sort. Gra­ham Greene gave us a point of com­par­i­son: “In Italy for 30 years under the Bor­gias they had war­fare, ter­ror, mur­der, and blood­shed, but they pro­duced Michelan­gelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renais­sance. In Switzer­land they had broth­erly love — they had 500 years of democ­racy and peace, and what did that pro­duce? The cuckoo clock.”

But what if it’s really true that all cre­ativ­ity is merely a men­tal form of waste elim­i­na­tion – an out­let against harsh real­i­ties of life, like the suck­i­tude of liv­ing with a crazy spouse? If so, observ­ing that some­one is full of poop could become a compliment.

As for the elec­tion, I look for­ward to the wail­ing and the gnash­ing of the teeth when the polls close. And that’s the last thing I want to say about it today for a few hours until some­thing funny/​horrid/​unforeseen hap­pens until I change my mind.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel will be done in 2016. Fol­low her on Twit­ter.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Jour­nal­ism — -»»>

by baldilocksbaldilocks

I voted. You should, too.

To up your literacy quotient and gain an insight into human nature, read this Kevin Williamson piece:

What I have found most interesting about the recent investigations into [T.S.] Eliot is not the high-minded work of the poet and critic at the height of his powers but the emphatically low-minded verse of his latter years, particularly the erotic poems that have produced so much eye-rolling and squeamishness among certain kinds of low-minded readers. The poems are not very good, but they are interesting companions to the important ones. Many of them detail Eliot’s encounters with the “Tall Girl,” his epithet for Valerie Fletcher, his second wife. She had been a secretary at his office and was, in the inescapable biographers’ cliché, nearly four decades his junior. What he found with her was simple domestic peace, something whose value is most apparent to those who have not known it or, as with Eliot, who had not known it for most of their lives.

Eliot’s life had been an unhappy one: the disastrous first marriage to a mentally ill woman, a job he hated in the subterranean offices of Lloyd’s bank that for all its demanding respectability failed to keep away financial difficulty, his own spiritual crisis and the convulsions of Europe. Like many great men, he also suffered from his own strange cultivation of personal unhappiness — he was, at times, positively creepy, sexually, socially, and otherwise.

(…)

But he somehow managed to find himself, in the latter part of his life, writing contented, sentimental, and oddly specific verse about his love life with his second wife.

(…)

It is not true that great artists must suffer or that genius is only truly unleashed by unhappiness, though this silly romantic notion is immortal, and Eliot himself may have believed something of the sort. Graham Greene gave us a point of comparison: “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love — they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

But what if it’s really true that all creativity is merely a mental form of waste elimination–an outlet against harsh realities of life, like the suckitude of living with a crazy spouse? If so, observing that someone is full of poop could become a compliment.

As for the election, I look forward to the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth when the polls close. And that’s the last thing I want to say about it today for a few hours until something funny/horrid/unforeseen happens until I change my mind.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>