I apologize for my recent absence from this space while I’ve been on the road, spending time with family, and under the weather, in various combinations. I’m back in Chicago now, easing back into things slowly, and catching up on my reading. To wit:
Is it just me, or does it seem as though you can’t blink these days for fear of missing something new and fascinating at 2 Blowhards? Today it is a guest posting by Michael’s friend Maureen, who describes her friendship with a blind man who is acutely sensitive to visual beauty of all kinds. Here’s a taste:
One of the things that I liked best about our friendship was that it seemed to transcend the superficial. At least, or so it seemed at first, we were free from the appearance game.
Aha! Not quite. I soon began to learn that this accomplished man also had a serious eye, so to speak, for beauty–female pulchritude, to be exact. I learned that Jacek had been making numerous inquiries about my appearance. He wanted to know every detail about me, although he already knew quite a few–body type is easy to determine when you walk with a blind person, and he had gotten to know my personality extremely well. Yet he wanted more. The “aesthetics” of Maureen were important to him. Mind you, this was someone who had never seen a human face.
As they say, read the whole thing.
I’ve also been having some fun exploring John & Belle Have a Blog. John has been fisking defenders of Bad Academic Writing, talking up the unfairly neglected Robert Louis Stevenson, and examining his affinity for Stephen King:
I have so much affection for Stephen King on account of countless pleasant hours spent reading his first, second, third, fourth and fifth rate fat novels. He’s a novelist I feel was my friend in junior high. I feel his influence seep through other writers–Neil Gaiman, for example. Whose first, second, third, fourth and fifth rate products I greatly enjoy. It makes me smile to feel King’s influence spread. When I hear he won a prize I feel like I heard a friend won a prize. It hardly occurs to me to ask whether he deserves it.
My own impulse to defend King from the recent attacks directed at him on the occasion of his National Book Award does, I’ll admit, stem from the same sort of youthful affection. But it is helped along immeasurably by the smug certainty in some quarters that King’s popularity or genre proves his literary unworthiness. And I simply think that he is a good writer (far better, ironically, than any of the other popular novelists he endorsed at the NBA dinner).