On Discovery

The computer hard drive went bust, and I no doubt lost thousands of hours of work from the past two or three years--poems, stories, reviews, interviews that may not be retrievable without deep pockets (we'll see if Best Buy can work wonders). I'm telecommuting off a machine with sixteen colors and a 5x7 screen, but I find myself strangely untroubled. Consider this quote from Brian Aldiss' Barefoot in the Head:

"[A]ttachment to things keeps alive a thousand useless I's in a man. These I's must die so that the big I can be born."

Perhaps only by sloughing off the old skin can we live in the new.


Meanwhile, I'm slaving at an entry for Gary Westfahl's new encyclopedia project and find myself amazed at the discoveries uncovered not only about genre, but our society. I hope I can keep it under the required length. If it isn't up to snuff and if I gather enough spare quarters, I'll have to purchase one of my own. John Clute's Encyclopedia is a must, but it's quite broad. Reading motifs in context is enlightening, but also distorting as some texts fail on a motif level but are more successful as stories.

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