6.16.2004

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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