King Lear on the mean streets of Twitter, a case for simulated reality run by our far-off future ancestors, and some revelations on the burial sites of Cervantes and Aristotle. Plus: Rebecca Schiff on the political inconsistencies between an author and her characters: “If you’re tapping into something emotional—even if you’re really left-wing, like I am—you might wind up finding a conservative streak in you. And, as a fiction writer, if I feel like if that’s an important part of the character, I need to let that out, even if it’s not what I ‘officially’ believe.”
“There are often regulations of this sort for mechanical looms, as repeating yardage is an important economical component of the textile industry. But don’t those regulations sound like a writing prompt to you? It certainly did to me. The loom demands particular metrics, which one could also see applying to poetic form. Opportunities for the inter-poetics of writing and weaving have continued to reveal themselves so long as I’ve continued to seek them out.”
But who actually daydreams? If you’re anything like me, you might feel the anxious urge to constantly be doing something. A day of commuting, meetings, emailing, and running errands feels productive. I’m tired after it. I can reassure myself that I’ve done something, that I’m worthy of waking again tomorrow. To lounge around on the sofa, drifting in and out of naps, gazing at a white rose blooming outside the window feels slothful, lazy, and (shall I say it?) frightening. It’s as if I’m asking the God of Free Market Economics to throw a lightning bolt at my daydreaming head. I’m frightened because if I give myself over to reverie, it may mean that I’ve accomplished nothing, that I’ve gotten nowhere, that I’m still me, same as yesterday, same as tomorrow: flawed, bad at math.