Saturday, August 14, 2010

it's not something to hold

"I was thinking about Justin Taylor and a short online conversation we had around this article, the final point being ambition. I was thinking about rock climbing and bouldering problems, the differences in how the routes are rated. You climb with your feet so you don't tire out, but at some point you have to make a move, find the hold, press your hand on the top of a rock that doesn't even make sense, be willing to fall. They say writing's not a competition, and it isn't, but it also is. If we're being honest we should admit certain things. Even a great book might not find its audience, which strikes me as less of a tragedy than spending years writing something that's only very good. There are other factors. It's best just to believe in the meritocracy. It's still most of it. Get your foot up on the wall, stretch toward an innocuous bump. It's not something to hold, but you can lean against it. Work yourself straight until your body is finally angled into the face and you can rest for a moment. I don't know if it's a good thing, but it matters." Stephen Elliott in the Daily Rumpus

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