A Bad Case of What’s The Point

POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord?

HAMLET: Words, words, words.

POLONIUS: What is the matter, my lord?

HAMLET: Between who?

There’s a whole lot of sarcasm in this 17-word exchange. The castle is in a crisis, the Prince’s mental state is uncertain, and the King’s elderly aide tries to calm the tension with a bit of small talk, querying the Prince about the book he’s reading. When Polonius asks “What is the matter, my lord?” he’s inquiring as to the plot of the book. But Hamlet pretends to misunderstand the question, and his cutting reply — “Between who?” — brings the conversation out of the ethereal realm of books and into the present moment. Where, of course, plenty is the matter.

Words, words, words. This scene really doesn’t have anything to do with what I want to write about today, except to say that, like the melancholy Prince, I have been a little out of sorts. I haven’t really felt motivated to write on this blog, other than my weekend philosophy posts (which I have a great time with). Other than that, I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth.

Part of the problem is that, even though I’ve been keeping up my steady reading, it’s been history, philosophy, psychology … everything but fiction, and not even close to poetry. Perhaps I’m still suffering a bit from that Reality Hunger that was going around last year. Or you could just say I’ve got a bad case of “what’s the point?”

But I’m a lucky blogger, because I’ve been able to reach out to my wonderful gang of contributors for the past few weeks and keep the site as lively as ever. In the past three weeks we’ve heard from five different voices who each reflect unique facets of the literary interests of this site. Garrett Kenyon writes about transgressive themes, literature’s dark and violent side, Claudia Moscovici about pop culture and intellectual trends, Mike Norris about our great Modernist and Bohemian literary tradition, Dedi Felman about the delicate art of screenwriting for popular audiences (another installment of this series is coming later this week), Alan Bisbort about two topics that are always evergreen around this joint, the Beat Generation and New York City. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of contributors. I’ve also got some more good new and familiar voices ready to spring on you next.

I know I’ll have to get back into the blogging rhythm myself too, of course, and I think I will soon … as soon as I figure out how to remind myself what the point is. I know there’s one in there somewhere. Was I doing this to please myself? To please all of you? I can’t remember. Till I find my bearings again, thanks for your patience and your trust. Words, words, words …

9 Responses

  1. Hang in there, Levi. You just
    Hang in there, Levi. You just have a bad case of the February blahs.
    The only February qoute I can think of is “February made me shiver/with every paper I’d deliver/Bad news on the doorstep/I couldn’t take one more step” – remember that old requiem?

  2. Levi, I agree with what all
    Levi, I agree with what all your other online friends are saying. It’s just February and besides, creative life is like in wave theory: it’s got compressions and rarefactions. The compression/burst of creativity will come back again, after this rarefaction. But only machines are always nice and steady. We love your cultural blog and value what you say and your friendship! You have a loyal community of writers, intellectuals and friends supporting you. Cu drag, Claudia:)

  3. I agree with Ectric – the
    I agree with Ectric – the philosophy series is one of the best ideas that you’ve had.

    When are we going to have another one of those mystery maps where we have to guess what landscape goes with what famous literary work? The Great Gatsby one was my favorite.

  4. Well let’s keep it simple:
    Well let’s keep it simple: you are doing it for me. So I would appreciate shorter breaks, fewer trips to the bathroom and more work please. We’ll meet again in six months to review your progress.

  5. Ha! Thanks for all the
    Ha! Thanks for all the feedback.

    I’m glad some of you are enjoying the philosophy series and yes, absolutely, that’s the one part of the site I’m very happy with right now. I guess it’s just a matter of my finding different “projects” to do to keep it fresh for me as a writer.

    I think I’ll be back with all the other stuff soon too. I think my blogger’s block is over the hump.

  6. Hang in there, Levi.

    Hang in there, Levi.

    Like Claudia said, creativity is like the wave theory. Working through a low period is tough, but once a high point kicks in it’s rewarding to see how you managed to stick to your art regardless of your “out of sorts”-ness.

    In childbirth, it’s “Push through the pain”. In writing, it’s “Write through the writer’s block”.

    Glad to hear you’re getting over the hump.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!