Three Great Weekend Reads
In case you missed them…
Are we forgetting the strangeness of history?
Has “realness” become a way to brag on Instagram?
Would Salinger be famous if he was writing today?
Philosophy, Aristotle tells us in his Metaphysics, begins with wonder.1 History does too. It starts with obvious perplexities but also with our realisation of the strangeness of the everyday, making our head swim like Plato’s Theaetetus.2 History works to make sense of things via our crossings from the present to the past, and from the physical world to the spiritual world.
This is the paradox women face on social media: Share enough highs to seem well adjusted but not braggy, share enough lows to seem down to earth but not suicidal, and share enough unfiltered moments to seem human but not unattractive.
J.D. Salinger wanted to be a man, not a persona. But the fact that he published so little (one novel, a short story collection, a book containing two short stories, and a book containing two pretty awful novellas) got tangled up with his desire for some ideal, artistic purity. The guy burnished mystique into legend. He hated performing as a writer, but the role of J.D. Salinger was still a decades-long performance, one so wholly inhabited it’s actually shocking to see snapshots of the author playing with his grandkids.