every now and again, people try to force me to like something that i don’t. years ago, it was house music. this past year, it was alcohol. it’s not that i’m against these things per se, i just haven’t needed to consider them in my own life, like religion or getting a driver’s license-they’re on my list of things to do, just not very high. i have the utmost respect for one of the most important positive choices that my father ever allowed me: “religion? just figure it out when you do.” i never read science fiction or fantasy because i never really got to it. there was/is enough that i don’t understand in this world, i didn’t/don’t need to go that far to start learning. like how there are more francophones in ottawa than montreal because people respond better when they have free will, margaret atwood had me reading science fiction in the best way-by writing well, not writing genre. i’ve always loved her essays, so this one is a real treat, because i love her voice best when she’s directly describing her process.
“As the twig is bent, so the tree grows, they used to say, so I suppose I should reveal what sort of things bent my own twig; for surely at least some of the books that writers eventually produce as adults are precipitated by what they read avidly as children.” (39)
“I often read this kind of book when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I was, in fact, leading a double life, or even a triple one: the terms highbrow, middlebrow, and lowbrow were much in use at that time-the metaphor was based on some idea of Neanderthals having receding foreheads-but I seemed to have a taste for all three kinds of brow, which I can’t say disturbed me.” (40) Burning Bushes
i am only of the last two brows…but i’m all for anything that our first lady births. pen is envy.