I am on the Alabama coast, beached well.
I’ve been reading Norman Malcolm’s Dreaming and thinking about his work. While I often disagree with him, how I wish I could write like Malcolm! His studied, bristling honesty, his deep seriousness of purpose! He joints his paragraphs with woody sentences lacking internal punctuation. He will not ornament, he will not warp, he will not waste. His work strikes me as like Thoreau’s cabin
a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap-doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite.
Like Thoreau’s cabin, everything is placed, everything exactly accounted for. Although constructed on a small scale, the soundness of the writing makes it
fit to entertain a travelling god, and where a goddess might trail her garments.
In comparison, my writing is a snarl of cheap twine. Oh well, for better or for worse, we work as we have been given to work.