My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit nothing but debasement, frustration and ignoble deaths; that there is security in personal strength; that you can fight City Hall and win; that any action is better than no action, even if it’s the wrong action; that you never reach glory or self-fulfillment unless you’re willing to risk everything, dare anything, put yourself dead on the line every time; and that once one becomes strong or rich or potent or powerful it is the responsibility of the strong to help the weak become strong.
To change lanes on some of my recent (negative) reviews of movies and books, here’s a big old positive thumbs-up from yours truly:
If you don’t have “The Essential Ellison” collection, you’re missing out on a half-century of some of the greatest literature to ever permeate the English language.
The author of “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” really needs no introduction; A man of great writing prowess, who not only helped provide the world with some of the best short stories around, but a great activist for the civil rights movement during MLK’s heyday.
This collection of stories and essays somehow condenses an entire writing career’s worth of treasure into some great pieces: “From Alabamy, with Hate” is one of the best essays about participating/getting jailed in the civil rights movement march on Alabama in the early sixties.
Stories of love, hate, friendship, the passage of time, and what it means to be a singular human being in such an infinitely expanding universe as ours; not to mention, “Prince Myshkin and Hold the Relish” is one of the funniest stories to ever include Dostoevsky, Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, and the free-wheeling analysis of literature all in one.
There are over a thousand pages of pure wholesome goodness in this collection, and focusing on any one of them would be forgoing on the other ones, as well; same way analyzing each one in depth wouldn’t be able to give justice to this fantastic wordsmith of our times. I cannot gush over this book any more than all of this, so here’s a quote that encapsulates both this collection and this great writer. Enjoy:
Art is not supposed to be easier! There are a lot of things in life that are supposed to be easier. Ridding the world of heart attacks, making the roads smoother, making old people more comfortable in the winter, but not Art. Art should always be tough. Art should demand something of you. Art should involve foot-pounds of energy being expended. It’s not supposed to be easier, and those who want it easier should not be artists. They should be out selling public relations copy.