Sunday, May 10, 2009

From Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying"

"Somewhere between the bathroom and the bedroom, somewhere between eating an egg and taking a crap, the muse alights. She does not usually appear where your banal Hollywood notions have led you to most expect her: in a gorgeous sunset over Ischia, in the pounding surf of Big Sur, on a mountaintop in Delphi (right between the navel of the earth and the place where Oedipus killed his papa) -- but she wings in while you are peeling onions or eating eggplant or lining the garbage can with the book-review section of The New York Times. The most interesting modern writers know this. Leopold Bloom fries kidneys, takes a crap, and considers the universe. Ponge sees the soul of man in an oyster (as Blake saw it in a wildflower). Plath cuts her finger and experiences revelation. But Hollywood insists on imagining the artist as a dreamy-eyed matinee idol with a flowing bow tie, Dmitri Tiomkin's music in the background, and a violent orange sunset above his head -- and, to some extent, all of us (even those of us who should know better) try to live up to this image."

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