“If… you wish to write, then write.” Epicticus
There is something about old letters, yes? Like the one below from JTT Tolkien in 1963. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9049899/JRR-Tolkiens-grumpy-holiday-letter-sells-for-1700.html
Letters … old letters. I really like to read old letters, and I like to look at old letters. Books, old books, and the writers who wrote them, and their places, their reasons for writing and for going to those places where they sat, and lived, and wrote.
- We write: manuscripts, letters, poems, books, EMAILs, blogs … Through the centuries, the writing has been done by pencil, ink, typewriter. The literary work keeps going.
Tom Sawyer hung out with Huck Finn, on a raft on the Mississippi River. And Mark Twain wrote about it … probably after he had his own raft trips going down the Mississippi. Some of Twain’s writing was done laying down.
Other guys wrote, laying down, such as Truman Capote, Robert Louis Stevinson. Right: an 1883 letter from Mark Twain, newly acquired by The Bancroft Library’s Mark Twain Papers & Project. http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2010/07/27/twain/
Hemingway sometimes sat, when he wrote, or typed. Sometimes he stood, when he wrote, or typed. I like how he writes with short, powerful, descriptive, sentences which, somehow, in my limited opinion, intensifies the tension. Hemingway stood when he wrote / typed (most of the time). I read Hemingway less and less. The depression I feel from some of his writing wears on me. It feels kind of existential.
In another place, far from the existential realm, I have pondered the great wardrobe written about by C.S. Lewis. There are other categories of Mr. Lewis that I have read about. I have only been to Narnia once. To the right is a picture of C.S. Lewis in his study, thanks to the link, http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/C.S._Lewis
To the left is a letter signed by C.S. Lewis from 1951, discussing the author’s reaction to young author Ray Bradbury (http://www.royalbooks.com/pages/books/122570/ray-bradbury-c-s-lewis/autograph-letter-signed-by-c-s-lewis-from-1951-discussing-the-authors-reaction-to-young-author-ray
Between 1939 and 1954, Lewis started and finished the Chronicles of Narnia, which consists of seven books. I would say that the Chronicles of Narnia have been quite popular: over a 100 million copies in 47 countries. Now, here is a guy who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, and throughout his life he had frequent bouts with depression. This is the same man who wrote The Problem with Pain. I suppose that there are connections, here. The Chronicles have young people fighting forces of darkness. There is oppression happening in Narnia. And C.S. Lewis fought such battles, through the written word, through his teaching, and through his own personal battles with his depression. I still have not found out whether the quote from Shadowlands was a C.S. Lewis quote, or not: “Pain is God’s megaphone for rousing a deaf world.” I love the quote, but how can that be? I don’t love pain. I don’t love anguish, nor do I like depression. But the quote is a powerful quote. Here is another quote, this one from C.S. Lewis:
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Writing is worthwhile. Maybe it is one of the more powerful, sacred, places a writer can go to release his / her pain, because … as C.S. Lewis said “… it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’ …”