"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

17 September 2022


An excellent book ...

My love of life is tentative so I write to ensure my survival. I try to write well so I won’t be caught shitting out of my mouth like a politician. To the old banality “Eat or die,” I add “Eat and write or die.” After writing I often read Brillat-Savarin, also cookbooks, on the toilet. Then I try to cook as well as I hope I write. After a nap, I write again, in the manner of an earthdiver swimming in the soil to understand the roots and tendrils of trees. I anchor myself to these circular life processes so as not to piss away my life on nonsense. I hunt and fish because it helps my writing. Novels and poems are the creeks and rivers coming out of my brain. I continue writing in bleak times to support my wife and daughters, my dogs and cats, to buy wine, whiskey, food. I write as an act of worship to creatures, landscapes, ideas that I admire, to commemorate the dead, to create new women to love. Just now while listening to the blizzard outside I poured a huge glass of Bordeaux. This is what I call fun! Rimbaud said, “Everything we are taught is false.” I believed him when I was eighteen and still do. Writers are mere goats who must see the world we live in but have never discovered. I write to continue becoming an unmapped river. It suits me like my skin.

Jim Harrison, from “Why I Write”

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