Since I’ve been blogging, one glorious month, I’ve actually been reading other blogs. And, as the general wisdom holds, most of them are indeed crap. But, and this surprised me, lots are really good. Imaginative. Cute turns of phrase. Observant. Funny. I used to have a diet of 3 blogs outside of a few of my family and friends: Scott Adams, Jann Arden, and Grrl Genius. Sadly, Grrl Genius isn’t blogging anymore since IVillage stopped paying their writers, so I have to make do with an occasional entry on her MySpace page. So I was left with Scott Adams and Jann Arden and Jann only updates sporadically. Then I chanced upon someone who referred to blogger Meg Fowler and bingo—a treasure trove. Her and all the blogs she recommends on her site are great. Hey, where are you going? Wait a second, I didn’t mean you should abandon me! I’m still developing my blog voice. I’ve made cookies. Oh, never mind. Come back when you’re done. Hey, you’re back? Cool.
I also happened to pick up my copy of Robertson’s Davies’ “The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks.” For those of you not familiar with it, Robertson Davies (if you don’t know who Robertson Davies is, well, <sigh> he is just one of THE icons of Canadian Literature) writes brief, humourous essays under the name of his doppelganger, Samuel Marchbanks. Section 1 is a diary, Section 2 is Table Talk, or suggested conversation gambits which is organized according to course. Section 3 is titled “A Nosegay plucked from the Musings, Pensees, Obiter Dicta, and Apophthegms as well as the Letters of Samuel Marchbanks…”
Anyway, my point:
They are genius. Look at this one from the Fish Course in Table Talk:
Of Feigned Industry
I spent a busy day today, but got little done. This is because I am at last becoming perfect in the art of seeming busy, even when very little is going on in my head or under my hands. This is an art which every man learns, if he does not intend to work himself to death. By shifting papers about my desk, writing my initials on things, talking to my colleagues about things which they already know, fumbling in books of reference, making notes about things which are already decided, and staring out the window while tapping my teeth with a pencil, I can successfully counterfeit a man doing a heavy day’s work. Nobody who watched me would ever be able to guess what I was doing, and the secret of this is that I am not doing anything, or creating anything, and brain is having a nice rest. I am, in short, an executive.”
Or this one from his diary, Week XXVIII, Sunday
Some important atomic bomb tests were held today, but no consequences were observable in my part of the world. Half-consciously I had been expecting the end of everything, and had made preparations accordingly. I burned a few letters which I did not wish to have vaporized; when we are all reduced to atoms, who can tell what atoms will read other private atoms, as they hurtle through space? I put a few of my more prized possessions in prominent places so that they would be vaporized as prominently and showily as possible. I threw a few bricks and rocks into my furnace, so that its vaporization might be painful. Then I spent as much time as I could manage lying on a sofa so that if necessary, I might enter Eternity in a relaxed posture. But nothing happened.
So brief, so funny, so smart. This book should be required reading for every blogger.
I think if listening to Mozart can increase your intelligence, that you can get an equal IQ boost from reading Robertson Davies. Someone should do a study. What could happen if you read Robertson Davies WHILE you listen to Mozart? I will try it today and report back any sudden surges in my ability to formulate paradigm shifting hypotheses.