När det gäller författare är Douglas Kennedy. Hans huvudpersoner är komplicerade, gör fel och drar iväg till vindpinade östkustsstränder and I love it! Jag följer honom på FB. Gör det du också för hans uppdateringar är fulla av visdom.
Till er som inte har Facebook kommer här dagens kloka ord. Och fullt applicerbart även för oss som inte åker på bokturné runt om i världen och pratar om våra böcker. (Om inte annat som målbild heh).
Redo? Here goes!
I did eight interviews today in Paris. And two of the journalists asked me if I found all this publicity (for the paperback edition of ‘The Moment’ – or ‘Cet Instant-Là”) wearisome. I responded: “As I tend to live a rather private life outside of these ‘voyage de promotions’ I enjoy the contact with the press and (most especially) with my readers”. And why complain about the need to promote one’s …books? I remember some years ago, at a Salon du Livre in France, taking part in a round table discussion with another writer, who sang a rather long aria about how dull it was to be at a book festival like this one, and who went on about the torture that was inherent in writing. My response: “Yes, writing is a genuinely difficult process. And yes, one is very much alone. But I do think it’s far more gratifying to be writing novels and be at a festival like this one than sweeping the streets or stacking shelves in a supermarket. I mean, what a privilege to be a working novelist”. As this ten year old exchange flashed up out of nowhere in my head today, I couldn’t held but wonder why there is so often a very human need to complain about the state of things, and why it seems to be the lingua franca of so many of us at certain junctures in life. I’ve always been fascinated by certain individuals for whom nothing is ever enough, and where the glass isn’t merely half-empty, but also the last glass of water on earth and radioactive. What is the impulse inherent in the need to express displeasure with the way life has panned out for you… especially if, in the great existential scheme of things, it has not turned out so badly? Are we endlessly picking away at past psychic scars that we know will never fully heal? Do we want to be in a state of endless disaffection? Do we fear the idea of being at ease with the vagaries of life, rather than constantly railing agaist them? And does the question of one’s own inevitable mortality also come into play here?
I doubt any of us can every truly master life. And nothing ever turns out the way we envisage things should be. Others disappoimt us. And we certainly disappoint ourselves. But – and this is a theme that is very much present in my upcoming novel, “Five Days” – if we accept ongoing estrangement from the pleasure of living (an unease that is inevitably rooted in the choices we have made along the way and which we now regret) can we ever find a degree of equilibrium? Or even accept happiness when it is there for the taking?