There’s something that undercuts the nostalgia of reworking old material, & that something is the Oz of the fictional dream. We’ll call him Editor Emeritus, because he’s been around a while & is persnickety & panicky & full of pretense. He can’t believe you wrote that sentence in that way, but is too much the realist to chalk it up to maturity or impatience–it is a flaw you’ve carried within you for some time, a flaw in your ability as a writer to engage the world properly, born out of inexperience or laziness, & so end up capturing a milder form of reality poorly reconstructed using language that can do no justice to the real world given it is being put in service of a false one. Even if can be such a prissy asshole, I love the old dolt. We have fun together, & he’s not afraid of roller coasters. In fact, he’s much more adventuresome than I am, & pushes me to attempt new things, even when it means destroying the sound of sentences I enjoy to such degree that I unintentionally memorize whole passages entirely for their rhythms. Without him I’d be content to be content, & there hasn’t been a single instance I can dream up where contentedness inspired original content.
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