Some thoughts on this newsletter’s leather anniversary
Congrats, Mason! You’re the first substack I subscribed to, after stumbling across your books and loving the surprising sense of community and connection they offered. This newsletter is a wonderful extension of that. I look forward to getting them every time. Thanks for creating something lovely in this crazy world!
That Leiris quote is so spot on. After over a decade of false starts, my book was finally published in 2021 and I still don’t know how to answer the question: how is the book doing? I have learnt that it is one of thousands of books to be published that linger in the background for eons. Only a small number end up being the popular best sellers. The rest of our books fade away with barely a whimper.
Congrats! Happy anniversary! I'm mega late to the party, which is a shame because three years ago would have been the perfect time to start exploring Substack... but hey, I've got lots of articles to go and read!
Zizek's advice is brilliant strategy. After many years I had begun working it out for myself, but he puts it so succinctly snd clearly. My "hats" always got seriously in my way.
When you have worked not only as a teacher of literature but as a critic, doing your own work is like having two nagging demons perched one on each shoulder: over-analyzing, critiquing, micro-managing every word, every sentence, paragraph, section. Always insisting on perfection every step of the way, and therefore damming yourself to a trickle of creativity. Zizek's approach suits me to a T. I know the finicky teacher and critic will show up...and I'll welcome them...but only when the person with the creative brain and voice lets them in the door and is ready to say: "Okay, here are
my golden nuggets, some roughed-out, some almost polished. Let's all work together now to get this filled-out, arranged, shaped, brought up to best arc and velocity." So much self-thwartedness avoided, less time and confidence wasted, and so much more joy! Thanks for drawing attention to this again, Mason, and congratulations and many thanks on your 3rd anniversary.
Thank YOU for sharing so much of yourself with us! It’s such a privilege to get your posts in my mailbox!
Also, your postscript made me laugh out loud 😂
I admire your putting out this newsletter while also working on your book. And you accomplish all of the best things with it. You help people feel less alone, you foster a sense of connection, and you help others find meaning in what we do. Happy 3rd anniversary! Sending you a tasteful, uh, leather gift telepathically, lol. xo!
The comment from Leiris reminded me that it's often not one book or project, but the stacking of work one on top of another.
I watched the Spielberg documentary and noticed there were several movies that weren't great that helped him do something else, like 1941 and Empire of the Sun.
It really is about the next book or the next project, not a singular work
One of the first newsletters I've paid to support! And one of the ones that inspired me to start my own on this platform.
Congrats on three years, Mason!
Happy anniversary! Reading your newsletter has been such a pleasure. And I love Leiris. I came across his work because he was a collaborator of Georges Bataille, but Nights As Day, Days as Night is a great entry point. There's a nice, newer edition out by Spurl, who do a lot of great work if you aren't familiar with them: https://spurleditions.com/
Congratulations, Mason! It has been a true pleasure to be a part of this process, and community. So many times I find myself consoled, or inspired, by both your words and the conversation that follows. Thank you!
Hey, Mason. I’m a new subscriber, but I love what you’re doing. Seeing newsletters like yours still alive after three years gives me hope that I’ll be able to stick with mine as well. Your issues are a great companion for my writing journey. Cheers, man. I wish you luck!
I scrolled down the list of comments thus far so all I'm going to say is "Ditto!" I'm glad you started this newsletter, too. :)
Congratulations!! This is BIG!!