February 03, 2005

Does Hemingway make you bored?

I should preface this by saying that I love Hemingway. Seriously and to an unhealthy degree, I suppose. But lately, reading about him and reading his writing, I find myself bored. I don't mean to say that Hemingway is boring or that reading Hemingway is boring. Far from it. Rather, reading about the grand adventures of such a giant of a man makes me feel boring and bored. For crap sakes, I read and study and write for a living. I know, when I was an undergraduate and worked in a bookstore, I longed for the days of graduate funding and not needing to have a part-time job to pay the few bills I had then. Even when I was working on my MA, living on student loans and research assistantships and working at the library for a summer, I longed for my current situation: having an office at a university where I could spend all of my time working on my doctorate. Here I am, and I'm not satisfied, am I? Should I find another line of work? Am I only working on my PhD and the whole academic career because I am too lazy to have a "real job"? Whenever I get a little unsure about the extended education issue, my wife asks, "Well, what else would you be doing?" I don't mean to necessarily question the choices I've made over the last eight years. But they have resulted in a very quiet life that sometimes, just sometimes, I wish would be a little wilder. Papa wouldn't be caught dead doing what I'm spending my 20s doing.

5 comments:

ahniwa said...

If you want to add a sense of adventure to your life, I recommend learning how to dance. Swing dancing is, perhaps obviously, my highest recommendation. Salsa is fun too, and tango, and even ballroom. But swing is the dance in which you can most let loose.

I'm sure you know quiet doesn't equal boring, though I understand the need for a little "wildness" sometimes. Hope you can work it out.

Cheers!

Lorianne said...

Hmmm, I dunno. Swing dancing might be fun & all, but I can't picture *Hemingway* doing it...

ZM/aka Lorianne
http://www.hoardedordinaries.com

Stasyna said...

Hemingway is a rare kind. His adventures are out of the ordinary, living in a time where these types of excursions were possible. In the 21st century, could you really go to Cuba for a few years to fish and lounge around? I mean some of us might enjoy that, I know doing nothing but leisure would excite me, but it's not practical. Similarly, his "field trips" can be seen as a waste also. What someone calls 'waste' or 'boring' is different to someone else, like everything is in this world, self-evident.

I'm not sure if Hemingway wrote with the intention of inspiring people, but to give them adventures on ordinary expierences. He wrote about the kinds activities that were, at their root, things we all could do. He took fishing to another level, hunting, writing, etc. - things eveyone is capable of, to a higher plane. That was his character, always going all out, but what did he really accomplish. His tragic end was most likely influenced by his life, one of wild gluttony.

Everyone has these sort of "crisis", if you can call it that, where you question your life, right now, in this time frame. It's theraputic, and keeps you in tune with what your goals are.

"Work first, play later" - one of the great personal philosophies one can adapt to their life.

-Peter

Neighbor Girl said...

Wilder? You want your life to be a little wilder? Go out and get a snow chicken, a 24 pack of roman candles, a pair of those Groucho Marx glasses with the eyebrows and big nose, and a case of beer. Use all four at once and wildness shall follow.

Pragmatik said...

That DOES sound like fun. Alas, I had two afternoon beers and called it quits and went car shopping:-P
Yes, car shopping. Again.
Long story, on which there will be more later.