Sunday, June 24, 2012

Introducing myself, Using the verb "Abase"

verb, transitive. To behave in a way so as to belittle or degrade someone.

This is an attempt to start writing a specialized blog. To choose a vibrant word, write a brief piece on it and publish that online. What to say, what to say? I heard Anne Tyler in an NPR interview yesterday say that every time she sits down to write the same thing happens: she stares at the empty page and bewails the fact that her mind is a complete blank. Sh has to force herself to write anything. That’s enouraging. She is a much-critically-praised author of numerous novels, most of which I’ve read and enjoyed. If she has to put up with the empty-brain syndrome, I guess I’m not doing too badly. She said giving up writing is not an option for her. The act of writing itself is too entertaining and satisfying for her to consider “retiring” from it.

I was talking with someone the other day about the well-worn cliché of the advertising business: that every copywriter is a would-be novelist just putting in time at the agency to support himself until he gets the idea for The Great American Novel, the execution of which will facilitate his escape into a life of self-supporting ease--a life in the country, where he will arise and sit to his next tale, with periods of contemplation of the bucolic scene out his window, or a pipe, or coffee. No longer will he have to compromise by boarding the commuter train and spending his precious days abasing his genius to sell soap or cars.

Of course, that fantasy usually remains just that.

Definitions adapted from The New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2005 (eBook Edition, copyright 2008), and from Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company, Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, 1965, depending on which is more convenient to hand.

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