I’m a touch typist. I’ve been comfortable at a QWERTY keyboard of one kind or another for well over half a century, but there’s something about digital writing that seems ephemeral to me, unreal in some way, as though it can’t really last, or won’t be treasured by someone years hence who happens across it, or something like that.
I confess to a preference for handwriting in a journal. I’m especially fond of the Moleskine© “Cahier”, the soft binding and archival paper of which suit my purposes nicely.
I can’t journal comfortably on a computer, even though I’d probably be more prolific (and since I’m accustomed to thinking while typing, perhaps even more spontaneous). But I guess I’ve been captured by the image of the mysterious diaries found in old trunks and old treasure maps brown with age from the books of my youth. Those things are probably unheard of among today’s generations; their Treasure Islands are in video games, and their maps have GPS coordinates.
I guess another thing about it is the underlying conviction that there really is no privacy in the digital world that doesn’t sacrifice at least some spontaneity. Continue reading
Her first Narcotics Anonymous meeting was on the Lower East Side in Manhattan in what she called “a vaguely scary, sad and disturbing neighborhood.” As she was searching for the entrance to the building, she found herself down in a little, secluded basement area off the street. She heard someone behind her and looked up to see a large, disheveled man coming down the steps toward her. She thought, “Oh, God, I’m going to die doing research for this book.” Then he spoke, she said, and his voice was gentle and friendly.
Inside the meetings, she found herself in an environment that felt safe: courageous people struggling hard with their demons. The least frightening people in the world, she said. “I felt enormously moved and humbled.” she said. “You have never seen such courage.” She began to understand so much more of what it’s like to be haunted by an irresistible and shaming passion, she said.
Books – A Novel’s Twists Immerse a Writer in the World of Addiction – NYTimes.com
Here’s a statistic you won’t pick up in English 101: Of eight native-born Americans awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, five were alcoholics, including Sinclair Lewis and Eugene O’Neill.
“Alcohol is a factor if not the central focus of the three top modern novelists – Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald,” says Michael Carolan, an M.F.A. candidate and instructor at the University of Massachusetts. “As novelists they were addressing how man lived in the 20th century, and the answer was, ‘through drinking.’ ”
Examining alcoholism and madness in literature and film