Monday, October 20, 2014

Trivia

This is from a facebook post. I worry now and then that my posts are too much about myself.
The problem with posting about myself is the endless trivial updates. Terry Bisson described my blog as a description of putting on a jacket. First you put an arm into one sleeve, then...

Terry was not being mean, just noting the obvious. Rereading my old novels, I notice how much they are about the trivia of life: eating, sleeping, using bathrooms, having a cup of coffee, having another cup of coffee... Now and then there is an epic conflict, then a nap. There's far too much drinking in my second novel, which was written in Detroit. Well, Detroit was a hard drinking town.
Of course people assured me that my posts were fine. Anyone who thought they were too trivial kept quiet, as people will.

But I guess I would argue that day-to-day events matter. That's what life is about for most of us. The big things -- love, birth, death, revolution, dramatic personal conflicts or achievements -- do happen, but not most of the time, at least for most Americans. Though more and more of us have to deal with proverty. That tends to be grinding, rather than dramatic.

What constitutes dramatic personal achievement differs. I worked with a guy -- a white guy from a working class background -- whose ambition was to not end in Stillwater State Prison, as all his brothers had. He did it. His life was kind of rough. He was kind of rough. But he stayed out of prison. Could I write a story about that? Maybe not. But someone could. In context, it was a triumph.

23 Comments:

Blogger Peg said...

Have you ever heard of Martha Ballard's diary? She was a New England midwife who wrote in her diary nearly every day from January 1, 1785 to May 12, 1812 (27 years) for a total of almost 10,000 entries. The entries were very short, apparently intended as a day book record of why she was called out (for births and other medical events) and how she was paid. For years, historians dismissed the diary as 'trivial' until Laurel Thatcher took it and wrote a marvelous book about it, cross-referencing the historians' 'important historical' events from town records, etc., and showed how her every day 'trivial' entries fleshed out a picture of daily life that was equally as important as those of men. I remember Thatcher's metaphor was that the diary depicted a woman's life, and if you think of it like the blue stripe in checked gingham and the men's lives (more frequently chronicled in history) as the white stripe, you only see a complete view of history if you look at the cloth as a whole, and intriguingly, where they intersect. You saw how the womens' economy, for example, underlay and made important contributions to the mens' economy, and the diary's occasional laconic comments gave important hints and clues as to what was REALLY going on in that town that the men didn't think to talk about.

See this link, too, to the PBS program on The American Experience about it. Anyway, I found the Thatcher book to be absolutely fascinating, and I bet you would, too.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Therem said...

You wrote:

Rereading my old novels, I notice how much they are about the trivia of life: eating, sleeping, using bathrooms, having a cup of coffee, having another cup of coffee... Now and then there is an epic conflict, then a nap.

I laughed out loud reading this, because it's both funny and very true, and something I love about your fiction. So much of life is *not* dramatic, and that's why the dramatic bits stand out.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Nay Denature said...

membasmi gonore obat pilihan kencing ramuan penghilang kencing nanah kencing nanah sembuh tanpa oprasi

2:13 AM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

membasmi gonore obat pilihan kencing ramuan penghilang kencing nanah kencing nanah sembuh tanpa oprasi

7:46 AM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

membasmi gonore obat pilihan kencing ramuan penghilang kencing nanah kencing nanah sembuh tanpa oprasi

11:15 AM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

membasmi gonore obat pilihan kencing ramuan penghilang kencing nanah kencing nanah sembuh tanpa oprasi

8:01 PM  
Blogger herbal gonore said...

obat sipilis obat sipilis raja singa obat wasir obat-wasir-herbal

6:43 AM  
Blogger herbaldenature said...

obat penis keluar cairan nanah menyembuhkan kanker srviks

2:02 PM  
Blogger Nay Denature said...

obat sipilis obat sipilis raja singa obat wasir obat-wasir-herbal

11:24 AM  
Blogger Nay Denature said...

obat sipilis obat sipilis raja singa obat wasir obat-wasir-herbal

6:24 PM  
Blogger herbal medicine said...

obat wasir herbal akibat ambeien atau wasir ciri ciri penyakit wasir obat ambeien manjur

4:46 PM  
Blogger herbal medicine said...

membasmi gonore obat pilihan kencing ramuan penghilang kencing nanah kencing nanah sembuh tanpa oprasi

7:33 PM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

obat penis keluar cairan nanah menyembuhkan kanker srviks

10:20 PM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

de Nature indonesia obat benjolan kutil di bibir vaginobat benjolan kutil di bibir vagina

3:09 AM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

Obat sipilis herbal Obat sipilis Gho Siah dan Gang jie

3:17 PM  
Blogger obat herbal said...

Obat kencing nanah obat sipilis

9:17 AM  
Blogger herbal medicine said...

Obat Sipilis tradisional https://obatsipilissifilis.wordpress.com/

1:28 PM  
Blogger herbal medicine said...

Obat Sipilis tradisional https://obatsipilissifilis.wordpress.com/

7:40 PM  
Blogger wasirdenature said...

ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar nanah obat wasir herbal tanpa operasi obat cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan cara mengobati penis keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan kelamin pria keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah mengapa alat kelamin keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

6:41 PM  
Blogger lionelmessi10 said...

ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar nanah obat wasir herbal tanpa operasi obat cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan cara mengobati penis keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan kelamin pria keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah mengapa alat kelamin keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

8:28 AM  
Blogger ahmad najib said...

ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat penis keluar nanah obat wasir herbal tanpa operasi obat cairan nanah keluar dari kemaluan obat kemaluan keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan obat untuk cairan nanah yang keluar dari kemaluan cara mengobati penis keluar nanah nanah keluar dari kemaluan kelamin pria keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat ujung kemaluan keluar nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah obat kelamin pria keluar cairan nanah mengapa alat kelamin keluar nanah obat alat kelamin keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan laki laki keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar nanah kemaluan keluar cairan nanah

7:30 PM  
Blogger Third Aly said...

Obat Sipilis tradisional https://obatsipilissifilis.wordpress.com/

11:59 AM  
Blogger Thomas pedro said...

How expert is the monetary foundation in managing clients? Does it offer quality administration as far as proficiency and unwavering quality? What are the accessible advance bundles and which bundle suits you best? What are the different charges included. chicago auto title loans online

11:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home