We begin

September 15th, 2008

About ten years ago I wrote an Op Ed for the New York Times that made fun of authors’ websites—all the photos of Sue Grafton’s cats on her site, the pictures of Clive Cussler’s “renowned and classic car collection” on his, etc.

I asked, “Shouldn’t an author’s website fetishize his words—say, a letter the writer forged to the school nurse as a tyke, or the addendum he included in his pre-nuptial agreement? Anything that would offer insight into a writer’s psychology.”

So, to inaugurate this site, I want to make good on my word by offering up a somewhat embarassing bit of marginalia that I scrawled at age 13 on page 347 of a book assigned me by my 8th grade English teacher. The book: Thoreau’s “Walden.” The passage: Thoreau asks, “What is man but a mass of thawing clay?” My dazzlingly astute comment, rendered in black felt tip: “Man = Pottery.”