"I'm just trying to keep my head above water over here. Aren't we all, man?!"
I’ve spent much of the pandemic anxious, thinking, and overthinking. Recently I realized that all I want to do is write letters and read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. I wrote to friends in Japan, Poland, France; to photographers whose work I love; to writers who are friends even though we’ve never met in person; to a writer who I became best friends with the instant we met; to students I had many years ago. As their responses arrive, I am reminded of the intimacy of handwriting, the feeling of being understood, over distance and time.
As for Ferrante and the Neapolitan Novels, I abandoned myself to them completely, reading into the night, waking up late, reading over coffee, walking around with my head in a book. I needed to reconnect with the relationship I had with books as a child, where I read books because I didn’t want to put them down. And I didn’t put them down.
Don’t put down what you love.
A fellow struggling writer here. From India. I used to read most of your articles, including the ones about your parents. I also read the one about how you kept your writing going by donating blood. I have a day job, but I have been writing consistently during the pandemic. It hasn't really amounted to much yet. I hope you find the means to keep writing.
Letter writing runs in your family. Did an early love of Neopolitan ice cream lead me to
these novels? One never knows the path. They are terrific. As is your latest newsletter.