Kerouac’s description of San Francisco (“October in the Railroad Earth”) — M liked the “clarity of California breaks your heart” (I think that’s the 2nd part) line — playful with words, not a mere dull description, yet could almost be nonfic (Esquire writer criticizes Jon Stewart the comedian, as if he’s being edgy by being anti, this writer. Whatever — to be “anti” is to also be predictable.)
[My in-laws] and nonfiction — their beliefs — but who has time to correct them all? I mean, maybe this is why people don’t try to disabuse others of their beliefs in ghosts, angels, Heaven — it’s just sorta rude. It’s condescending, and bullying, to say “I grasp reality — my ideas of reality are better than yours” — because no one can legitimately claim truth. I feel I’m less delusional than those who believe as described above, but there’s certainly no sense in which I can grasp or even start to conceptualize all the diverse perspectives, the unknowns about the world, the multiplicities of, multitudes of experiences (other peoples’ experiences).
So, there’s that part — but there’s also the reason not to do it that you don’t know that it matters if [my mother-in-law] believes in these unseen worlds, or that she would really agree with me even if it seemed like she couldn’t argue against me — we like to come to our beliefs on our own. We choose what feels right, I guess, or what we were given by tradition or parents. Our beliefs are generally comfortable to us — new ones less so.
It seems I want to talk about Kerouac again. What am I leaving out? His descriptions, word play.
He certainly never got caught up in bourgeois things like having a house and a job.
But his sensibility is only one way — doesn’t have to be the only way to write, or to describe. I like the idea of the nonfic descriptions being poetically loose — it’s the voice that can make those things interesting. George Will and other commenters must not feel the need to write creatively, to write in any but a straightforward, meaning-centric prose. Even Primary Colors novel is plain in style.
3 p.m.-ish: After I got frisbee down, then another frisbee up on roof and [I] got bobber, treble hook, and lead weight stuck on roof in a wife-entertaining, -amusing, attempt to get down the 2nd one. M: “One of the frickin’ funniest things you’ve ever done (not belly-laugh-funny but) ‘what the hell are you thinking’ funny. … For someone intent on forethought and planning, there was some bad forethought and planning on that one” (M said as I was writing). M said she could tell from my voice that I’d thrown it up there and fallen to my hands and knees.
I was thinking yesterday about how nonfic is what you (anybody) honestly think(s) — but politicians say things that may not even be their belief — but they may honestly think it’s the best thing to say at that point. But how do we resolve differences between peoples’ reality beliefs? (Gail Collins recently said Michelle Bachman has a “free-floating relationship with reality” — approximate quote).
[My in-laws’] reality beliefs are different from my own — any nonfic is not necessarily truth — like my recent “consider the source.”
4:30 p.m.: This pinching feeling in my left pinkie toe continues to come and go.
[From journal of Sat., 17 Sept. 2011, Journal 146, page 180-2]