That–the title above I mean, that is more than the title of a novel by Aldous Huxley. It’s also the name of my just-purchased (during the sales of “Black Friday”) Kindle baby. Okay, I’ve done it, I’ve sold out books. But first, why I chose that name and pasted it down onto the required Amazon registration.
I chose it because that’s how it feels to me. Brave. New World. And I’m focusing on that instead of the death-of-publishing and how I am now implicated in its death. Aren’t I a writer? Don’t I own a fistful of fountain pens? Yes, and yes, and oh-my-god what have I done?
The first Amazon so-called-book I purchased for $8.50 about ten minutes ago online brings death back into the forefront of my life. The book is called: The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death.
I’ve been planning to blog about this book for a couple of months now but never seem to get around to searching for it up high on the shelves at my local bookstore, much less sinking down onto pillows and reading it.
It’s edited by David Shields. He’s the author of a riveting memoir, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead. He and his co-editor Bradford Morrow brought together some excellent writers-of-our-time including Joyce Carol Oates and Annie Dillard.
“Any culture tells you how to live your one and only life: to wit, as everyone else does,’’ writes Dillard.
“Probably most cultures prize, as ours rightly does, making a contribution by working hard at work that you love; being in the know, and intelligent, gathering a surplus; and loving your family above all, and your dog, your boat, birdwatching.
“Beyond those things our culture might specialize in money, and celebrity, and natural beauty. These are not universal. You enjoy work and will love your grandchildren, and somewhere in there you die.’’
And so I’ve touched down on a brave new world with these spirit(ed) guides.
Keep in touch.