I hope you all had a reasonably calm and collected Thanksgiving recess. Barring some snow squalls and dog squabbles, ours went smoothly. Number One Son arrived by railroad and enthusiastically consumed large amounts of my mother's cooking, Number Two Son efficiently entertained his small cousins and even managed to finish his homework, and the poodle did not have any accidents on the floor.
In the interstices of baking, eating, drying dishes, playing Scrabble, and hiking over snowy fields, I read a small amount of Philip Roth's American Pastoral. At the last moment of packing, I found I could not face carrying along a history of the crusades. American Pastoral is not much more relaxing than the crusades, but at least it offers some mulled-over regret between the battles.
And then there's this, which struck me as a reasonably apt:
Writing turns you into somebody who's always wrong. The illusion that you may get it right someday is the perversity that draws you on. What else could? As pathological phenomena go, it doesn't completely wreck your life.