This public diary thing is, you know, pretty fucking self-centered. I was reminded of this last week when the Writer's Almanac profiled one of my favorite authors, Michael Chabon. I skipped over to his bio in Wikipedia and read this:
In a 2002 essay, Chabon decried the state of modern short fiction (including his own), saying that, with rare exceptions, it consisted solely of "the contemporary, quotidian, plotless, moment-of-truth revelatory story." In an apparent reaction against these "plotless [stories] sparkling with epiphanic dew," Chabon's post-2000 work has been marked by an increased interest in genre fiction and plot.Now I'm not a fiction writer. I'm an essayist of blog-common proportions. But I appreciate a periodic reminder that this private/public exercise is often no more than shameless masturbatory musings.
Another bit about Chabon from Wikipedia:
Chabon's first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, was written as his UC-Irvine master's thesis. Without telling Chabon, his professor...sent it to a literary agent, who got the author an impressive $155,000 advance on the novel (most first-time novelists receive advances ranging from $5,000 to $7,500.) The Mysteries of Pittsburgh appeared in 1988 and became a bestseller, instantly catapulting Chabon to the status of literary celebrity.It just makes me happy to know that someone, whose work I respect, doesn't confuse credibility with popularity.
Chabon was ambivalent about his newfound fame. He turned down offers to appear in a Gap ad and to be featured as one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People." (He later said, of the People offer, "I don't give a shit [about it]....I only take pride in things I've actually done myself. To be praised for something like that is just weird. It just felt like somebody calling and saying, 'We want to put you in a magazine because the weather's so nice where you live.'")
Now back to "sparkling with epiph[enit]anic dew."