“”What are you reading, my dear? A pretty sight, a lady with a book.”*”

by chuckofish

“It was the first golden week of spring, and Mrs. Arthur William Morgan was completely unaffected by it.”

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I have been reading Let Me Tell You, which I broke down and bought last week.

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Usually I don’t buy compilations of writing put together by the children of long-dead authors who seem to have been scrounging around in drawers looking for anything to publish that will make some more money for them. Clearly this book is a lot of scraps and personal musings along with some ideas for stories and a few unpublished stories–unpublished maybe for good reason. And this is not the first time. They published Just an Ordinary Day in 1995 after a trunk was discovered in an old barn that contained a trove of her unpublished stuff.

That having been said, I am enjoying it all very much–mostly because I just love Shirley, and Shirley not-quite-at-the-top-of-her game is still better than most. Shirley, like J.D. Salinger, saw the phoniness in everyone (including herself) and was so good at skewering people, ever so gently and with such subtlety and humor.

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Anyway, she is a kindred spirit.

I cannot find any patience for those people who believe that you start writing when you sit down at your desk and pick up your pen and finish writing when you put down your pen again; a writer is always writing, seeing everything through a thin mist of words, fitting swift little descriptions to everything he sees, always noticing. Just as I believe that a painter cannot sit down to his morning coffee without noticing what color it is, so a writer cannot see an odd little gesture without putting a verbal description to it, and ought never to let a moment go by undescribed.

I think I will re-read one (or two) of her novels now.

*We Have Always Lived in the Castle