Whenever I feel the urge to Make A Point, I should probably not

I can tell I’m writing smaller with the suggested rules being narrower than the dots in previous notebook. I wonder if writing small is harder on my muscles.

So, I did nap after eating a bit, and then I got up about 3 as M was leaving for B__’s birthday party for A___. … M home around 6:30 or 7. … In the p.m., I did do two loads laundry and photographed J209. Once I photograph J213, I’ll be caught up on those, then I can do the pocket pages—which task had seemed enormous, but now I’m thinking that it’s really only like photographing one journal per year. One journal, one notebook-length work (about 200 pages) per year. But it is hard on my neck and back, which get tense, to do more than one a day.

So, I walked dog about 6:30, so M must’ve come—wasn’t it just as we were getting back? And dog wanted to run up to her car? That’s happened several times. I think yesterday was one of those, but I’m not eager to trust my memory on that. I think that happened yesterday, but maybe I’m mixing that up with some other time.

8:04 a.m. The Today show should be on. I checked for G.M.A.—just blank screen, no show at all on local ABC this morning.

M went to bed at 9, after two Law & Orders, and I went to bed, after reading online, a little after 10.

And it’s overcast and humid now, but I’m not sure if we’ll get any more rain. It doesn’t look like any fell overnight, as was predicted by Channel 23 dude on Friday night’s newscast.

So, M got annoyed with me, understandably, for sorta picking an argument with her about fiction. As we watched L&O, I said I wonder what’s the value of crime fiction. M said it’s interesting to see why people commit crimes. I’d tried to make a point about how so much fiction seems moral. M said maybe Of Mice and Men was interesting ‘cuz it showed the inadequacy of mental health facilities in 1930s. I got annoyed because others have also told me that (without them having much evidence for it), and so M said I was trying to generalize here. And she left a few minutes later, after 8 p.m. episode (from 1994—we watched two—one was “Mayhem,” maybe, with three murders, and 2nd was a sports star who killed his dad.)

And I looked up online to see what the original reception was to the Of Mice book. Google Books took me to a couple book sources (and I found one other blog source that said Edmund Wilson wasn’t a fan, as he wasn’t a fan of Steinbeck generally, blog said). One criticism was that Steinbeck makes humans to be like animals—a point I’ve made. And a Google Book source—a book about Of Mice criticism (a lot of recent reviews of the book are reverent and glowing—by people who feel they can’t criticize a classic?) had Jungian, Marxist, etc. “readings” of the text, which are all fine, but I was reminded—I reminded myself—that I didn’t need to take it all that seriously, that whenever I feel the urge to Make A Point, I should probably not fret that point or blog it, but let it go. It’s a sense of Rightness, of Righteousness, a sense that I need to criticize this book that others like—as if “I must show them the way!” Blah.

I can remember—and take for myself—the advice I gave (or implied ) to my English 2 students this week: yeah, we gotta read this, but we don’t have to accept what it says. We can be skeptical, form our own opinions of what claims the book makes.

I don’t gotta comment on others’ texts—I can come back to comment on real life directly!

[From journal of Sun., 23 August 2015, Journal 214, page 6-10]

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