Monday, April 23, 2018

Words and then some.

Maybe it's Nostalgia on my part (nostos=home; algia=sickness) but I refuse with every fiber of my soul to believe that the printed word is dead.

Right now I am about 1/3 of the way through Christopher de Hamel's great book, "Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World." Buy it here.

Hamel travels the world in search of some of the most important books ever created--some of the most finely produced, revered, valuable and cherished.

I know our writings today--especially our writing in advertising--have all the longevity of a snowflake in August. Words come and go like bad neighbors, and with the great renaissance of television, where there always seem to be ten or 14 great serials to watch, there doesn't seem to be much life left in the written word.

I resist this--no matter how text has plummeted, no matter how poor it seems amongst its more powerful media counterparts.

First off, I believe information imparted through the written word has an indelibleness that is unmatched. That's just conjecture on my part--but I'm sticking to it. Second, and maybe more important is the quietude demanded by reading.

I leave myself an hour each evening and slowly turn and sometimes savor the pages of whatever I'm reading. I try to put myself in the place of the characters or subject. I try to forget the stupidity of our current Trumpian age, the cares and woes of my personal world, and the noise of noisome society. Finally, the written word is to my mind RESISTANCE.

It is resistance against the onslaught of dumbness. Of tweets and sensationalism and illiteracy and a lowering of standards and blurts that pass as thoughts.

These are all fights I know I will lose. We seem to be on a runaway horse of the Apocalypse--galloping headlong into a denial of truth. But it's a fight I will not give up on. It's too important to me.

Maybe Faulkner was wrong. When the last ding-dong of doom sounds, maybe we will neither endure nor prevail.  But I will be surrounded by the words I love.

And this might be said of me.

He went down swinging.

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