thank the baby jesus for this iphone, today. I had a hard time yesterday, crying about my family not being the james’ the way I wanted us to be. just like exercise, drunkenness, and other excesses, I don’t bounce back from extreme emotion the way I did in my yoot (as joe pesci ‘say to marissa tomei). so what I am not doing for art today is going to see this performance piece about cryogenics and the mind of winter because I am worn out. what I am doing is downloading my voice memos and sorting them into their proper notebooks and text files. it’s good to hear my voice having ideas about my novel. I’m a little self-contagious, catching something from my own past when I felt the way I want to feel about my work. sometimes rereading can accomplish this, but you never know and the more angles from which to prick yourself the better.
Wed what I did for art if I can recall: meeting about art organizing on campus, which felt almost tangentially about art b/c I argued for a space with comfortable furniture and good lighting options; lunch with my cross-disciplinary research group, which includes individuals who kind of blow me away and make me think hard rather than freak out, a delicate balance. Tues, Mon, Sun, Sat: four more days since my last… I’ve been reading Daniel Handler, who is smart and fun, but I am afraid I am reading it to avoid reading things that hurt, that perhaps I am not ready to read. I responded to a furious e-mail sent to my grads about an ex-student of mine who I invited to read. the person is angry because he thinks this young writer is getting more attention than he deserves because he is using marketing gimmicks to promote his self-published work and the gimmicks are getting his work attention. it was nice (wrong word? perhaps ‘mean’ is better?) to see a person freaking out about something that involved decisions I made (to support this ex-student despite the way I feel about writers spending their time and creative energy on marketing) and still feel fine about the decision I made. here’s the only thing I wonder: is it possible to blur art-making and marketing enough that I could ever think of a ‘promotional act’ by a writer as good for art? if the promotional act is a performance maybe? if it is interesting in itself as art? because do I believe something like ‘art itself should sell’? no. I think art doesn’t care if it sells because art is bigger than me and all I know or want. and perhaps that means I think an artist should be as much as possible like art. which brings us back to the baby jesus.