There are the books themselves, and then there are the minds behind them. Epic writers like John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway seem so much larger than life, this ordinary, often mundane life that you and I live every day. They have captured so much of life in these stories that we conclude that we will never attain that kind of wisdom with our words.
And then we unearth things like letters they wrote to loved ones or their daily rituals and habits that helped them write those words. Eccentric though they may have been, they were human, and it was their discipline that they helped them pen those great American novels.
I don't think that everyone can write, or that everyone was born to write. But for those of us that feel it is our purpose and pleasure to wield words, it is a comfort to know that we're not completely insane. I'm convinced that writing is equal parts eccentricity and discipline; we need enough of both to keep us imaginative and to keep us grounded.
Here are a few bookish links to the great minds behind great American novels, via Brain Pickings.
1. (of a person or way of life) Devoted to reading and studying rather than worldly interests.
2. (of language or writing) Literary in style or allusion.
3. (of art and all manner of lovely things) devoted to the written word as a form of art and as a way of seeing the world.
4. (of SheWritesandRights.blogspot.com) anything of the aforementioned characteristics as they arefound on the interwebs and reposted by Bethany, because bookish and writerly things always give reason for amusement.