Showing posts from 2016

Some Thoughts on the Meaning of Courage

About two months ago I got hit by a car. It slammed into my lower right leg and snapped the tibia and fibula bones inside like the twigs they are. Then the car drove away, and despite the presence of witnesses, it is unlikely its driver will ever be caught. I always knew that it was possible for something like this to happen to me, but I also knew it was unlikely. And that knowledge was enough for me to be slightly incautious. I almost always crossed the street in crosswalks, and only when I had the right of way, and that was what I did on the night I got hit, too. But I didn't do everything possible to avoid putting myself in the path of a moving car. Because that would have been hard, and I had other things to think about. And because I trusted in the likelihood that I would be okay. Donald Trump is the 45th President-elect of the United States. So I've been thinking about the belief that things will be okay, and the reality that they might not be, a lot lately. I didn

Why Oh Why Can Some Books Be Read So Much More Quickly Than Others?

Well obviously any post on this subject is bound to be nonsense, because different books may be easy to read quickly for different reasons. Plus, if it were possible to explain in like 1,000 words how to write in such a way that you know how fast it will be read, then it would be a lot easier for everyone to do that and this whole "writing" thing would be solved in an afternoon. I do not pretend to have such a grand solution. But.  But. Recently I read the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile for a class. I procrastinated, of course, which meant I had to read it real fast. Luckily, I found that I was able to speed through page after page without feeling like I didn't understand what was happening. And I started to wonder why. I've always found that I can read some books very quickly, while I find myself reading the same sentences over and over in others. But I'd previously put this down to some unknowable quality of prose, some part of the "magic