April 27, 2009

Post #2502 – 20090427

Dear Daniel Pinkwater:

I first read one of your books (Lizard Music) 27 years ago. My friend Martha turned me on to the Snarkout Boys books a couple of years later, and over the past 27 years, I’ve read many, many more of your books. For about 20 years now, I’ve been meaning to write to you. It occurred to me tonight, as I was rereading Fishwhistle during a bout of insomnia, that someday you will die (sorry to mention it; I know it’s bad manners), and you have been so important to me that I ought to tell you about it before that happens. Your books have changed me, and that has made my life better. Especially when I was in college, what you had to say about learning and school and art and observation shaped my thinking in innumerable ways. The one thing that has been a little bit of a disappointment: my ten-year-old self definitely saw in Lizard Music a glimpse of the glories of adulthood: no parents! all that freedom! Adulthood, I am sure you will not be surprised to hear, has not quite lived up to the promise of Lizard Music. I will add, now that I seem to be rambling, that Lizard Music showed up when I was in labor with my first child, when I was given a drug to let me get some sleep, and in my dreamy drugged state, I discovered that all of my contractions were named Raymond. Anyway, thanks a lot for all you’ve given me.


Daniel replies:

The point of art is that it permits us to take a revised look at childhood _and_ adulthood--re-experience them as living up to expectations, or surpassing them. I've been quoted as having said--so apparently I said it-- that it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art. I do not expect to die. Like William Saroyan, I assume an exception will be made in my case--but thanks for checking in.