February 6th, 2007 | The Artistic Condition, Wild Kingdom
I’m sorry I’ve been absent from the blog recently. It’s not because of anything anyone said! I’ve just been really overwhelmed with stuff. I haven’t even had a chance to read the Salon article about author blogs yet. I’ve been trying to get some important work done, and dealing with all the backlog of administrative things that built up while I was in France for a week. Not to mention the backlog of same that’s been building up over the past year and is threatening to completely immobilize me.
But it’s not just because I’m busy that I haven’t been posting as much. There are a couple reasons, and if I wait to write them out in a coherent essay I’ll never do it, so here goes. (It’s a blog, after all.) Mainly, I’ve been feeling disturbed by my own need for attention. It’s incredibly seductive to post a cartoon about my life, and start getting almost instant responses to it. But the gratification that I get from it is fleeting and insubstantial. And related to that, I feel like the blog siphons off some vital autobiographical energy that I could be using more productively, or at least in a more considered way.
So that’s what’s going on. I feel bad about it, too, because it’s like we’re in a conversation, and it seems rude to just disappear. But I had to for a while. And I expect I’ll have to disappear more in the future if I ever want to write another book. Which I do.
But here, in the meantime, is a movie I made about another bug in my bathroom. I’ve been reading a book of Virginia Woolf’s autobiographical writing, and in the introduction there’s a discussion about the autobiographical roots of her fiction, with a list of examples. Then comes this passage: “The extent to which the most minor details in Virginia Woolf’s fiction were drawn from specific experiences is perhaps less well known. The story of her father throwing the flower pot at his mother, whether apocryphal or not, is clearly the prototype for the incident in which Mr Ramsay ‘finding an earwig in his milk at breakfast had sent the whole thing flying through the air on to the terrace outside.’”