Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Work in Progress

As we pass the summer solstice of 2016, and I reflect on years of writing - especially my plans for writing that have yet to materialize - I realize that I am still a work in progress. "A Teacher's View" is still a work in progress. I have still not fully actualized the "life that I have imagined," and my plans to "advance confidently in the direction of my dreams" have for the most part gone unfulfilled. At certain times during the year - New Year's, Fall Break, Summer Vacation - I always make plans to "get my life in order" and become the writer and cultural critic that I've long felt is what "I really want to do when I grow up." So far that hasn't happened in the style I've envisioned. So, I continue on as a "work in progress."

Some time this summer, I hope to proceed with the publication of my first work of non-fiction, a critical analysis of Douglas Coupland's early work entitled "McJob: Business and Consumer Culture in Douglas Coupland's Early Novels." It was my master's thesis which I've developed for publication. The original goal with that piece was to lay the groundwork for a serious piece of criticism I've been researching for the past year or so. It was - and is - a collection of pieces of "Generation X" criticism entitled McLife: a Gen Xer Looks Back at Twenty-Five Years. As I've noted before, 2016 is the perfect year for that commentary because it is the quarter-century mark for three definitive pieces of Gen X culture:  Douglas Coupland's Generation X, Richard Linklater's Slacker, and Nevermind from Nirvana. Of course, I haven't finished the piece, even as 2016 quickly progresses, and I move further into middle age.

Oh, well.

Beyond that, there are so many pieces I still want to write, and so many works that I want to read or experience. Currently, I am engaged with a brilliant piece of criticism from New York Times film critic A.O. Scott - it's called Better Living Through Criticism. It both inspires me with the type of thinking and writing I want to read and produce, and it scares and depresses me with how erudite it is and how small it can sometimes make me feel. That said, I will try to focus on the inpiring parts. Scott's thoughts on art may still motivate the artist and critic that I know resides somewhere inside of me. Art ... yes, more art. And more culture. If I am a work in progress, I am hopefully progressing toward an ever-deepening knowledge and appreciation of art.

This blog will remain the record of my journey.

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