The Greater Good

Entry by: Godai41

26th June 2015
Please note the two titles below are meant to be centered on the page but the final formatting on the site doesn't allow it. Thank you. The writing begins here.

The Greater Good


Welcome all. Fellow writers Mr. Keats, Mr. Wordsworth, Mr. Eliot, Mr. Orwell, and Ms. Eliot have invited us today to sit in on one of their more-or-less regular get-togethers at The Flask where they sometimes meet up to reflect on and chat about their takes on writing and the writer’s existence. Ms. Dillard here on a visit from Pittsburgh may also drop by.

All their get-togethers, as you may know are trans-time discussion, so the authors discuss people and events before they were alive and after they died and use words, allusions and experiences from all time periods. No fear, so far no one from the 14th century has popped up chattering in Middle English.

The overall field to cover today concerns the raw issue of the act of writing itself and the ways writers are, are not, and might be employed for the Greater Good. That said, let the confab begin.

Oh, mind you, their time has some boundaries, so please hold your questions for another opportunity to nibble.

Keats: If you don’t object, I’ll start the chatter, since I left the arena early and far away from all of you. Well, I’ve taken a peek at George’s piece—no, not you, sorry—I mean the “Down and Out” piece one of you brought up last time. What’s his problem, anyway, writing, teaching, eating in Paris, and he mopes on for several pages! Oh, here’s Ms. Dillard.

Wordsworth: Take it slow, Jack. George in France didn’t have a chance to know the blessings of our selection as scribblers. Besides, he felt cut off from everything.

Dillard (while finding a seat): Cut off. I mean if he didn’t see the blessings of isolation, then why did he start it up to begin with? How else can you “scribble” if you don’t move out of the scrambling for a long while?

Eliot: Cut off? When I absconded from my so-called roots that’s when I got cut in to the core of the scribbling, as you demean it. I ran away or toward, whichever way you see it, and then I found what I meant and needed to do: write.

Wordsworth: Write? You did that? Mere garble about smoke, pollution, conflagrations. No one forced me to stay aloof from those messes you call cities. I myself knew better than to head to Fleet Street or anywhere near that.

Keats: Cut the rambling, will you, about this place or that? You don’t have to go to “my” Library or to watch Soprano episodes to know that writing itself and not flaking out about pounds, francs, or dollars and how to discern them is what counts. At least Will knows that. Right Ann?

Eliot: Slow down, will you all? Let’s have another round before this conflagration goes forward. Who’s treating our guest Ann and the rest of us anyway?

Orwell: See, even Thomas needs to eat and drink. If you have to worry about a living or dying or paying the dues, how can you jot stuff down?

Dillard: That’s exactly it, George. Just jot. Your hunger, even your starving, feeds your writing.

George Eliot: Are you addressing me, Ann? My words themselves fed me. And I had plenty of life feeding me to help me. I can’t imagine stalking so-called work—at least the work I witnessed around me—to so-called support myself.

Wordsworth: I saw lots of people around me working and they even seemed happy.

Orwell: Excuse me, halt here a moment, did you really know what they were thinking and feeling or just trying to imagine it?

Dillard: We’re drifting. Do you know why we’re here, besides the sumptuous bitter served up?
What’s better: earning enough to eat, drink, and reside and writing on the side or writing full thrust and hungering? Which has the greater good?

Keats: Actually, we didn’t drift at all. Or if we did, we drifted right to the crux. Writing comes down to as much as we can ever know about life and death.

Orwell: Well, again, what we live, yes, need to live, from sneaking food into a lodging to discerning how to avoid finding yourself overwhelmed in public places, undermines (excuse me for exalting my own writings) the focus one needs to write. That’s why writing equals death AND life, not just one or the other.

George Eliot: It doesn’t come down to hunger, suffering, or what subject I or you choose or feel compelled to write about. Life manifestations, not only emotions, assert themselves. It means only writing as much as possible—even carrying a petite notebook around most of the time—to reflect, scribble, record, yes, write about that life assertion wherever, whenever one can and needs and wants to. That’s one greater good.

Thank you dear readers for joining us, and perhaps we can arrange to have you stop by for another conversation.