– and once again; extended …
MY FIRST summer READING LIST keeps being extended & revised. Today I have been reading Donald Hall’s Life Work (not on my list – but in my shelf for quite a while). And I came upon this (I think Hall must have had my project (or even me?) in mind when he wrote):
List-makers without exception occasionally accomplish some task which they never planned to do, and which they never put on a list.
The thing is, for us list-makers, to add the unlisted item to a list as soon as possible, so that one can have the joy of crossing it out at once: Work done!
As often happens with books I have had on my shelf for a while, I have forgotten why I bought Hall’s text in the first place, but I really enjoy reading it!
Life Work (the hitherto unlisted book) is a biographical text, a memoir that is not a memoir but a series of reflections organized around a theme–in this case, the pleasures of work. And since Hall’s work has been to write, it is a book on writing, about writing as work. Reading the book I am struck by how often I have felt bad for spending my time writing. Through Hall I realise that I have problem understanding my work as work. I downplay what I’m doing as if there is something more important to be done, as if writing is too enjoyable to be taken seriously – as work.
And work and pleasure is not meant to be uttered in the same sentence — or?