So my quest for a hit single/EP is beginning to fade, the long-nebulous goal of grasping Solange-level power in a public-sphere world of Beyonces starting to look sad, even to me. (Since my pilot never aired, I don’t have to worry about cancellation.) My decades-long nightmare of becoming the lead character in Mr. Holland’s Opus–for an intellectual adventurer like myself, a horror movie personified!–has slowly come true, despite my best and worst efforts. During my five decades of life, I have had to learn how to be my own writer, which means for me that writers should take sides but not necessarily be on sides. My provocative approach to my professional journey means my skeleton will one day be found in some wings somewhere, still waiting for its close-up, its all-too-brief moment of viral spin in a writing world dominated by bots. But for right now, inspired by ever-infuriating, ever-fascinating and often-courageous magazine journalism, take-no-prisoners podcasting, diligent documenting and powerful historical narrative nonfiction, I am still here to contribute and complain. As a writer (and now audio commentator) who will probably be remembered best as my superhero secret identity The Human eNewsletter 🙂 , I give thanks to God, the Ancestors and you.
Tag Archives: nonfiction writing
Narratives: Remembering Stanley Crouch
A very fine article I found reminded me of the type of serious longform writing and print-era that, once I discovered it, shaped and fascinated me as a young newspaper reporter. The Village Voice and its crew, of which Stanley Crouch was a part, were in this great, fascinating NYC-centric, newsstand literary universe.
I was definitely not a fan of the content, philosophy or personal style of Crouch (who had left The Voice when I began to read it), but I was a fan of the idea of him. This act of remembering–published in one of the remaining traditional 20-centuryish places left for this kind of writing–brought back memories of a time long gone: of picking up The Voice at Newark Penn Station while on the way to or back from Harlem on an early 1990s Friday, all the while wondering what was possible for me and writing.
Later in the 1990s, embedded in graduate school, I was even more obsessed with The Writers’ Life. For example, I actually bought a transcript and video of the below because I wanted to absorb this discussion. (Not surprisingly, these writers–who were actually post-World-War-II-nouns, who wrote in the mid-20th century for a living–didn’t see that nonfiction and fiction were going to move en masse to the academy.) I succeeded: this 23-year-old talk has been almost completely memorized over the years and, as a result, it serves as part of my internal writing clinic when/as I write.