Tuesday, July 30, 2013

J P recovers.... SLOOOWLY-- and other writerly blog matters

Get over to Jameson Parker's to read the latest installment in his account, at times hilarious, always eloquent, sometimes horrifying account of his horse wreck and slow recovery. God, do I identify with him-- I am not as hurt and hope I never will be, but my Parkinson's can at times provide an analogy; and like him, I am a physical person (I only impersonate an intellectual) wondering how my poor body, once so obedient, got so damned OLD. The link will take you to the latest; put aside some time and, as bloggers say. Read The Whole Thing. And comment, and cheer him up or entertain him if you can.

A quote from the most recent installment:

"Doctors have to walk many fine lines: compassion and dispassion; warm encouragement and cold truth; diplomacy and bleak reality; the possible and the impossible; potential harm and potential benefit; others I know not of. This uncharacteristic skirting around a direct answer to a direct question rattled me, and for the first time it began to occur to me that I might be in more trouble than I realized, that perhaps certain parts of my previously always resilient and adaptable body might not be able to bounce back or adjust as they always had before."

Oh yeah...

Change of subject -- free associating mind goes from one serious writer/ blogger to another-- Michael Gruber, whose new novel will  be out within the month, reflects on the yawning cultural chasm in Western culture that opened just after my generation-- I appear in the comments. I realize I have many young readers, like the Peculiars and Moro, who from education, parents, reading, have no culture gap; like Gruber I think they are "outlyers".

One more thought: I have always said that I know more literate, historically- aware, art conscious scientists than I have known scientifically literate lit folks. Gruber was a biologist before he became first a ghost writer and then a uniquely original novelist. Though readers of this blog as well as its heroes tend to bridge all gaps and defy all stereotypes-- Classicist writer- actor- cowboys, liberal Catholic convert biologist gun nut thriller novelists, "and more and worse"-- itself a line from a woman who never fit a stereotype.

What say you?


Moro Rogers said...

Thanks, but I have to confess that I mostly just know St. Sebastian as 'the guy who got shot up with arrows.'

Federico said...

I dislike images of St Sebastian (i.e. I understand what mentions of St Sebastian refer to) and I know who Mantegna is. I am 'young' enough to be the offspring of either you or Michael Gruber I presume (I'm 37). The fact I come from a different country where some aspect of culture have different merit might explain that -- up to a point. Most people I went to school with would not give recognise St Sebastian, whether Mantegna's or not (they would though understand the concept of art history).

But the cultural chasm is not between generations.

Different parts of the same society have different cultural references and sensibilities. I was brought up in a similar culture as yours. Nowadays though, the emphasis is on the cultural references of different groups of people, for a number of reasons. The cultural chasm is within society, and was always there. Assuming that 'being the reference taught at uni' is a mark of being at the top of the pile, well, that means we are not at the top of the pile anymore (I could not care less myself).

Steve Bodio said...

Moro-- that is who he was (;-)) If you know that and can date the painting's period roughly, you "pass".

Frderico-- good observation as always, but maybe pointing to a difference between European and American practice that has now vanished. For a long time Americans paid at least lip service to the idea that ALL classes got the same basic curriculum-- my father got a superb education as a poor boy in a public school, one not that different from Betsy's in private boarding schools. Now the whole "contract" is shattered, and most low income kids and plenty of middle income suburban kids are taught-- hell, I don't KNOW what!.

Federico said...

Steve, I was educated by the state, in state schools following a nationwide curriculum. That allowed me to see in person that a state education, in state schools, and paying attention *from time to time* does put one in a different cultural context than someone in the same class who is not interested at all. We were all given the same access and education, but we took advantage of it based on the cultural references and mores of the social group we were from.

I presume that changes in curriculum are political and meant to highlight the cultural reference of the voters backing the politician making the decision (hence my comment about not being on top of the pile).

Your " I have always said that I know more literate, historically- aware, art conscious scientists than I have known scientifically literate lit folks" is solid gold BTW.

Best as always