Save the Rembrandt, save the cat, save the fire

I spent the merrie merrie months of May and June writing (but not in this blog), revising, and reading. What bliss. The garden misses me, though.

The literary frenzy over My Struggle is not what I would normally be interested in, but since I first came across the name of Karl Ove Knausgaard in the article below, I’ve read reviews and excerpts and and am part-way through his novel A Time for Everything. 

“In a Paris Review interview, [Norwegian author Karl Ove] Knausgaard says the question of whether a writer ought to use his family as material is akin to asking the question: Would you save the cat or the Rembrandt from the burning house? He says we must save the cat, choose life over art — a somewhat surprising answer from a writer who portrays his own family in such intimate detail.

“Asked a similar question about a hypothetical house on fire, Jean Cocteau said that he would save the fire.”*

There is a poem in those lines, even though NaPoWriMo is over.

What bliss?
Save the Rembrandt, for art gives meaning
Save the cat, for life is all
Save the fire, for who would rather rust than burn
What, bliss?


*Francine Prose and Leslie Jamison, “Is It O.K. to Mine Real Relationships for Literary Material?”  New York Times Sunday Book Review April 22, 2014.


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