For reasons of my own, I did not, for many years, imagine sex in my writing.Tags: Writing A Short EssayUseful Expressions For EssayRed Cross Research PapersI Am Not A Paper Cup Buy OnlineDefinition Of Business Continuity PlanCritical Thinking Worksheets For KidsGuide To Writing A Business PlanAttend A Wedding EssayBinding A DissertationSports Sponsorship Essay
And yes, I write of “postlapsarian” California, where I live. In writing about dying newspapers, I end up noticing the decline of the American cemetery, as more and more Americans are being cremated and their ashes are cast to the wind. But I will tell you this: An editor in New York told me the other day that, even as the reading audience for serious prose has diminished, the unsolicited manuscripts she receives are better than ever.
And look at those boys and girls of modernity, along with their crazed parents and grandparents, walking up Fillmore Street, consulting their digital toys of “communication,” oblivious to my staring. Even while I think we are leaving the splendid Victorian age of serious popular literature—novels and poetry—we may be entering the Elizabethan Age, when few in London read, but there was an intensity of thought and beauty to the prose, and the poetry, and, of course, the plays.
Consider this: The Irish nun excused me from arithmetic class so that I could serve as an altar boy at a funeral mass. There was a fresh pile of soil piled high at the edge of the grave site, discreetly, if unsuccessfully, covered by an Astro Turf rug that was as unconvincing a denial of the hardness of time as a cheap toupee.
Along with the priest and the other altar boy, I would welcome Death at the doors of the church. I wondered at the mourners’ faces—the melting grief, the hard stoicism. Were there certain writers that you looked to in forming your style? As a reader, I knew Auden the poet many years before I knew Auden the essayist.
But it also opens the soul to a longing for the solitary God who yearns for us.
I do not mean to imply a deterministic interpretation of religion, but I cannot write of the Abrahamic religions without writing of the desert. Do you have any advice for younger writers hoping for a career? You are asking me to live in an era other than the one that formed me.
For most of my writing life, I have stood truly, if uneasily, on American bookstore shelves as a sociological sample—shelved “Latino” between a gangbanger’s book of poetry and the biography of a Colombian drug lord.
Only in recent years, as it has become clear to me that so few people I know read books, have I been struck by the fact that I am a writer. From boyhood, particularly my lower-middle-class childhood in Sacramento, I was transported by religion into the realm of mystery.
If Jesus ever appeared to me, as He appeared to Reynolds Price, I would not mention it here. I remember feeling something like a warm rush of water over my body.
All I will tell you is that one summer dawn, in a dark pre-op room at St. I did not levitate but I came close to the joyful lightness of being that the astronaut freed of gravity enjoys.