Friday, July 11, 2008
I just finished Michael Chabon's Pulitzer winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and what a delightful, wild ride it was. I'd really loved his Yiddish Policeman's Union so I was really looking forward to reading K & C. He's one of the few really wordy writers I enjoy. I detest Faulkner, but when Chabon gets wordy there's this amazing rhythm to it that you can't help but follow. It's like listening to someone talk really fast who you understand perfectly.
So, I started reading Into the Wild. I'd read Krakauer's original article back in '93. He's a brilliant writer. I'm just so ambivalent about the idealization of what this young man did and how he died. I did not find it mystical, spiritual or transcendent. I found it either a) crazy or b) idiotic. It resulted in a senseless loss of life.
We've seen them come up here now and again. People who idealize "getting back to nature" or "living off the land". Here they can usually hike out--or the rangers mount a rescue operation. People do die up in these mountains. Every year there is some sort of problem where hikers have to be rescued. Every year there are deaths. But it's nothing like the deep bush of Alaska where there really aren't any safety nets.
Nature will hurt you. Don't go out on a date with her unless you're prepared and know what you are doing.
Another thing I'm ambivalent about is markets that don't take simultaneous submissions. I sent my first one of these in today. It's a really good story and I'm going to be peeved if they hold onto it for more than twenty days without letting me know something. I'll most likely be peeved if they reject it after holding onto it for more than 10. If a market is planning to do that they should at least have a week or less turnaround.