Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Subject: Saroyan, William: August 31 in literary history

On this day in 1908 U.S. novelist and playwright William Saroyan was born in Fresno, California. The son of Armenian immigrants, he left school at age 15 and educated himself. His writing concerns itself with the basic goodness of people. His novels include: "The Human Comedy"(1943); and "The Laughing Matter" (1953). His play "The Time of YourLife" (1939) won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but he refused the prize, saying the play was no better than anything else he'd written. Saroyan died in Fresno in 1981. Near the end of his life he said: "Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case."

"Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell."
--William Saroyan, advising a young writer

So i think i have that last piece of advice pretty much mastered. If i could get the actual writing down now, i'll be in good shape. My best friend, Anthony comes in tonight at midnight. This is the guy who beat up people for me back when i was 5 and a wimp and any body who felt like it could kick my ass. I taught him how to ride a bike. This has been my "go anywhere in the world and know we can come back to each other" friend, and this is his first time here. It's bound to be a good one.

The city continues to be ridiculously mobilized. Everywhere there are protests and protesters all the time. Union Square is again the hive of activity it was right after 9/11/2001. Mara and I had a couple drinks and a conversation and we've decided (among other things) that no matter how much people disappoint, we still like people (generally speaking) and we think that's a good thing.

That's all. I need to drink some more of this echinacea tea to fend off this flu; and then i need to go start on mopping the house.


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