Some Thoughts on Toni Morrison
More mental notes on the body are on the way. For now, though, I'm holed up in my house, writing my wonderful papers. ("Wonderful Papers" is code for my dissertation. Shhh. Don't tell anyone.)
So anyway, I was reading Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark last night, which is absolutely brilliant. I was remembering reading Beloved in 1993. In the course of reading that book, I read a lot of essays by her. I loved then (and still love) the way she talked about process. I decided then and there that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to make a comment on history, on our situation, through the imagination. I always remember that moment when I think about how I love Morrison or how I love being a writer. I think of reading Morrison as a crucial moment in my development as an artist. But what I'm not always so aware of is that reading Morrison was a crucial moment in my development as an intellectual. I don't always think of it because (being influenced by Morrison and all) I didn't understand that many people think being an artist and being an intellectual are two jobs.
Reading her last night I had to take a moment to sigh and gush over her thinking. I remembered reading this book the first time thinking, I want to be brilliant like this.