I Was A Teenage Sandwich, Or How To Be a Great Writer



Know Thyself. No thanks, Socrates. You can go on in your smug, fraternity party robe and dumb beard, leading the youth along that cynical path. You pre-Nietzschean Santa Claus of glib wisdom born from insights into the contrary of things—as if What-You-Don’t-Know Avenue is the only rout to unproblematic knowledge! For academics, politicians, and many pharmaceutical scientists, this road may be a reliable highway. But for writers (or anyone else involved in imaginative or emotional forms of knowing), it’s a nettled foot trail. It’s jagged and hardly blazed. A better adage would be “Lose Thyself”—and everything else while you’re at it—and then go looking for you (and everything else that’s lost) in fiction.

Other helpful variants of a motto for writers would be: Forget Thyself, Suspend Thyself, Question Thyself, Misunderstand Thyself, and, of course, Put Thyself on a Shelf, in a Vial, with a Legible Descriptor Encapsulating Thyself Thoroughly in…

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