On The Language. I had forgotten the connections blogging makes perhaps even better than reading. I had been considering Thomas Wolfe’s distinction between “taker-outers” like Fitzgerald and “putter-inners” like himself since I read McGurl’s The Program Era two years ago. I wonder if the difference comes down to a philosophy of writing – even to what drives different people to write – or to style alone.
After posting about “taker-outers” and “putter-inners” yesterday, I read Shai Gluskin’s post “Embracing Limitation” in which he describes limitation as one meaning of Gevurah – limitation that starts (and ends) with mortality but also encompasses boundaries set by law and custom. (Peter, how do you encompass a boundary?) In a comment that followed the post, Shai admitted that blogging was of the opposite genus (if genera have opposites) – “an expansive, thoroughly creative act.”
Steiner’s expansive language and the expanse Shai speaks of; Hemingway’s artful subtraction (“show, don’t tell”) and the limitation of Gevurah and of mortality – real connections? I wonder at it. Surely all of life and literature is a pair of lungs, expanding and contracting, but it solves nothing and circumscribes the wonder to say so.