I have been pondering commissioning
to do a piece of art for me. I started thinking about it a little harder after seeing his Emily Dickenson and John Lennon collage last night. It’s one of my favorites. I love the way he makes connections between the people he chooses for his portraits. He gets me thinking about connections in my own life and how they might relate to my work.
I figured I would have him do one of Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams since they are my birthday twins and since their distinct personalities say so much about me. (But then I also have this thing for Rod McKuen and for some reason his craggy face seems like a natural for the style that Slatts is known for.) But back to the idea of birthday twins. For some reason last night I decided to see who else might be my birthday twin. To my surprise I discovered that John Gardner, (The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist was also born on July 21st.
Now I already knew about Gardner’s writing books but reading a bit more about him in Wikipedia I saw something about a book he wrote called On Moral Fiction. It sounded familar. Not because I had read it before but because I had just read ABOUT it in another book by Gregg Levoy called Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life (Callings really deserves a post all its own and I will try to do that soon.)
In referring to the book Wikipedia said “… Gardner meant “moral” not in the sense of narrow religious or cultural “morality,” but rather that fiction should aspire to discover those human values that are universally sustaining.
I like that idea. I try to make each story I write ring true with emotional honesty. I believe that when I am able to do that, readers are able to take away something that they know is universally true not just for them but for readers everywhere.
Thanks for the connection, Slatts.