I have put my foot down re: shoveling the alfalfa! The company went to a Palo Alto bar so that I could drink four or five Maker’s on the rocks, on someone else’s credit card, and “link in”; and as the conversations got louder I discovered that I enjoyed being taken for a competent engineer. Oh Jesus, a profession, not my sinfín of para-professions. Well, what would it take to get competent? Shrugging off roughage, for starters. I’m not indifferent to money, but its coming in or not coming in has never much correlated with how hard I bust my ass chasing it. Basta. We had a contract come in for a big project with an April deadline, and till April it will be my cloister.
If the Medici had me on staff, I would never have gotten the gumption to thumb my nose at them, but I might have slipped out the window after six months.
The fiction writers who were so surprised when I told them I was leaving the academy: “But you’re a writer. What else are you going to do but teach?”
Last month D. was in town from Paris and talking about the current state of Spanish literature. He said most people will tell you that Antonio Muñoz Molina is the greatest living Spanish novelist, but the younger and more radical crowd will go for Enrique Vila-Matas. Geez, said I, so it’s a standoff between the guy who writes morose meditations on Kafka and the slightly older guy who writes morose meditations on Kafka? Europe!
The imagination, it likes to run in its ruts.
customer avoidance is a core competency for engineers
I've forgotten -- where did Kafka teach?
(Indistinctly.) University of life. Bad art.