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"I'm the narrator!"

Tuesday 10/19/21

* The school next door to me got out yesterday, and I heard this little girl obviously wrapping up some big bit of news to her mom. I just heard the last line, but it was delivered with such a proud flourish. “And I’m the narrator!” the girl said. She was so happy.

* Two surprising stats pertaining to the 1986 Red Sox: Bruce Hurst had a higher strikeouts-per-9 innings rate than Roger Clemens. And Bob Stanley—a huge reason they didn’t win it all—actually had a 0.00 ERA in 6.1 IP in the World Series. Reminders that numbers are not everything.

* Wes Ferrell is a borderline Hall of Fame pitcher who had a strange year in 1938. He was eighth in the league with 15 wins (yea!). His ERA was 6.28 (less yea).

* I am once again going over the new short story from yesterday now, in "All I Do Is Laugh." It's an amazing work. I am conscious now--and have been for a long time--that even as I am making something remarkable, doing things that no one else is doing, of these thoughts of, "eh, even if you weren't blackballed, that's a problem." By which I mean, if you do something great, new, that doesn't suck, it's a problem. What makes a work special, what makes it a great work of art, what makes it a masterpiece, is now a problem. These people are all looking for one kind of rote, bad writing. A lifeless writing, which anyone can do. The stories all go the same way. You read the first three lines, and that's all you need. You know exactly how everything will go. No surprises anywhere, in any portion. The story, the life quotient, the language, the form, newness. If you veer from that, you risk messing these people up. Even if they don't already want you dead. They're not wired for anything fresh. None of what is being putting out is going to last. Not a single line of it. Nothing.

* I revised a large film essay that ended up being 3300 words. I didn't even shower yesterday, man. There were no stairs. I sat here at the desk from four in the morning until ten o'clock at night. Then I went to bed, because today will be a longer day. I didn't see a single pitch of the Red Sox game.

* Letter written for the president and vice president of Grove/Atlantic. I'll send it. They won't care. This is the place that also employs and hooks up John Freeman--as corrupt as anyone in publishing, and also a thief who literally took money from me, who will be the subject of a massive entry here, that I have built up over years, because you can't be worse than this man, who also wrote to me once and said that he would not publish my work if I wrote the Bible, and that he had his friends to hook up instead; actually put that in email. But I'll send it all the same. As I said, I am not sitting back and being discriminated against and abused.

* I didn't like Eduardo Rodriguez's taunting gesture coming off the mound last night, which I learned about this morning. There's a lot of baseball to be played. Stay focused on the task at hand. Take care of your business. Don't give someone else impetus. Move towards your aim as directly as possible. These Astros are going to wake up--they're too good offensively not to. We're getting to a point, though, where this Red Sox team has a real chance to win it all. I don't know that they could beat the Dodgers--I doubt it--but I think they could beat the Braves. That series is also a long way from over. It would blow my mind that a team like this Red Sox squad could win the championship, but I am truly surprised that they are here. After last year. With the way they play the game. With how they fell apart during the season.

* Having said that: Carlos Correa seems like a very cool guy with a great attitude.

* I read a new story about a woman who was raped--for eight minutes--on a subway car. No one interceded. They watched her get raped. Some of them filmed it with their phones. Says everything about society right now. It's also an apt metaphor for publishing. Where no one will intervene. Where no one will stand for what is right. Where no one will stand for what is right, what they often know is right, because they think they might get in trouble. I have news for these people: this is nothing but trouble. You're already in the trouble.

* I have finished "All I Do Is Laugh" while writing this entry. Ended up at 2900 words. I also watched The Stalls of Barchester, a BBC film from fifty years ago made from the M.R. James story, which I'll discuss on the radio later today, and now I will correct galleys for another book.

* I ran 3000 stairs.

* The best films over three hours long: War and Peace (1966-67); Napoleon (1927); Greed (1924).

* Guys were really into mustaches in the 1980s--especially the first half of the 1980s.


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