October 14, 2011


There are a great many changes going on in the publishing world and Keith Gessen’s article, “The Book on Publishing” in the October issue of “Vanity Fair” documents that change pretty well. Technology is making it possible for publishers to reach vast audiences without an army of salespeople and distributors. All that’s required to find readers now is to “save and publish” on Kindle or Nokia or some other electronic device. But not all change is due to technology. As Giessen points out, a writer changes, too:

                 “…what you wrote six months or a year ago might not sound right anymore….it might take six months or a year to go through and re-write…  By then you’d have changed again and want to start re-writing the beginning.”

(Yahoo Images)

I’ve written about being trapped in a cycle of writing. A serious author searches for a mode of expression that represents harmony to the eye. Hemingway found his music in “The Old Man and the Sea,” a text without adjectives and embellishment and which made him the father of minimalist writing. It took him years and much iteration to find that voice and had he lived, one can only guess at any future transformations.   

The divine is immutable. Mortals slough off skin cells every day and we are not who we were 24 hours before. Like a writer, a person would be wise to keep time’s flux in mind. To surf through life one needs to be flexible in body and thought. A sense of humor wouldn’t hurt either.