Posts Tagged ‘Society and Culture’
Here is the latest, a chart of Friends, lover and family of celebrity artists.
In certain ways I feel cut off from that world of arts and culture epitomized by Lapham’s Quarterly while I’m in Dalian.
My days and nights are dominated by teaching and promoting Globish interests. I expect to soon begin training at 2 different companies in Dalian. The first is a small to medium sized industrial automation manufacturer in Dalian Development Zone. The other is a large international service company, NTT Communications, which has a big backbone IP network in China and many service offices across the middle kingdom.
But I pine for cultural enrichment from the likes of Lapham’s Quarterly. I will have 21 days in August and September to get back to that cultural connection.
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You can feel, smell, and see the seeminess of ordinary living in that paragon of Asian luxury, Hong Kong, in this piece from Southern Weekend:
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Steven Pinker has written this in NY Times Sunday Magazine:
The very fact that I had to think so hard brought home what scholars of autobiography and memoir have long recognized. None of us know what made us what we are, and when we have to say something, we make up a good story.
An obvious candidate for the real answer is that we are shaped by our genes in ways that none of us can directly know. Of course genes can’t pull the levers of our behavior directly. But they affect the wiring and workings of the brain, and the brain is the seat of our drives, temperaments and patterns of thought. Each of us is dealt a unique hand of tastes and aptitudes, like curiosity, ambition, empathy, a thirst for novelty or for security, a comfort level with the social or the mechanical or the abstract. Some opportunities we come across click with our constitutions and set us along a path in life.
Given the story of where I was born, Barcelona, Spain, and of how I got to live in Canada – my parents were born on Ile Madame next to Cape Breton Island – beginning in mid-July 1940, I have been messing around with the notion of writing the story of my “path in life” to this point.
I am 73some now and in 4 days I fly off to live and work in China, Dalian in Liaoning Province next to the Yellow Sea. So my “path in life” is going to take on a whole new orientation. And there is no doubt that I will blog post about the quirks and turns of that “path in life”.
So writing that memoir, whether it will be semi-fictional and how semi-, takes on a new life.
But it occurs to me that not the least important fact today is that I feel that I have reached a milestone as an “aspiring writer“. In the last week I have wakened, with the help of a continuing conversation about why I write, to the sense that I am now a learning writer and I won’t refer to being an “aspiring writer” any more.
I feel in my gut that that means I have given myself permission to write that memoir in a more deliberate way than I have been doing since I began messing around with it about 12 years ago.
Now I accept that I have to write my way into a way of telling that memoir story in way that compels my interest to write it and then get a sense of it’s value to me most of all, once I have finished the writing of it. If I can do that then I will have a better chance that my completed memoir will have some redeeming interest to my own children and grandchildren, who are the primary audience I am aiming at.
From the NY Times commenting on the latest Oprah “will to believe”:
In the book, he wrote not only that he reunited with his wife in New York years after she threw apples to him over the fence, but also that he had actually gone on a
“You’d think somebody would say, ‘Hmm, that’s amazing, let’s just spend an hour or a day seeing how plausible that is,’ ” said
Mr. Andersen compared Mr. Rosenblat to
“The will to believe something that is convenient to believe is strong in all realms,” he said.
I suppose that Oprah’s rep will end up slightly tattered for those who take the trouble to read serious journalism, but many people don’t bother to examine what they prefer to “believe” especially if “Oprah said it!”.