Greetings! I haven't posted an entry in what seems like ages, for reasons I don't have time to explain (though they could be summed up under the heading "Time" -- or lack thereof...). So I thought I'd just drop a quick note here to prove I'm still alive. : )
Still alive, and reading. I recently read (in connection with teaching her poetry) the biography of Audre Lorde. It's by Alexis De Veaux, and the title is Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde. If you understand Lorde to be a brilliant poet and/or essayist and/or biomythographer (her book Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is part autobiography, part myth -- the neologism is hers), and wonder how she came to be the larger-than-life figure of the women's movement she was and is, do check out this book. I found it fascinating, in part because it reveals aspects of Lorde's personality that I hadn't imagined. She emerges as a much more complex person than the Audre Lorde I'd been carrying around in my head all these years. I shouldn't be surprised, of course, but I find myself once again dealing with one of those gaps between the work and the writer -- a gap I created for myself, in the first place, by trying to understand the writer as a function of her writing, so to speak.
I know I'm not the only one out here who has created and then had to face such a gap, whether it be relatively narrow (as it is in this instance) or abysmally wide (as it was for a younger me, with a poet whose work I adore, Ntozake Shange). The size of the gap also seems to relate to the height of the pedestal upon which one puts the writer, and sometimes to the manner in which one is disabused of the illusion of that the admired writer is as perfect as her/his books. How have you come to terms with your gap(s)? And, taking a different angle on the question, given that this is a community of writers, have you ever been confronted with the gap between one of your readers' expectations for who you are and your own sense of self?? I'd love to hear your stories!