Intersting title, no? Many people attribute this quote to Ernest Hemingway, but as far as historians can tell, it’s not true. I love Hemingway, so who cares. It sounds like something he would have said.
It should come as no surprise that I love reading. My favorite contemporary authors now are Clive Cussler, who’s main character Dirk Pitt is a true “Man’s Man”, not to mention the action is pretty much all based on underwater archeology. Stanford has a wonderful FBI team. And Jance hits home with action in Seattle and Brisbee. The novels these folks turn out are wonderful summer reading. They keep you entertained, and you feel like you know the characters on a personal level.
But they aren’t Hemingway, Kerouac, Salinger or Bukowski.
These cats didn’t just write stories. They experienced life. They didn’t research at the library. Their lives became their research. When you read their books, you can almost tell when the stream of consciousness took over. When conscious thought left the building. When worries about ‘Am I saying this right’, or ‘Will people like this’, left the brain. You get transported into what they must have been feeling when they stopped to put pen to paper.
Read Hemingway’s ‘To Have and Have Not’ and not be blown away. You just don’t learn about Henry Morgan’s conflicts, you feel like they are your own.
Devour Kerouac’s ‘The Dharma Bums’. I love learning about the spirituality of different cultures. I also love tying one on at a dive bar that I found while out riding my motorcycle. This novel… this duality… this is me.
Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. All I will say about this one is if you can read it and not see yourself or someone you know, you must be a member of an undiscovered Amazon river tribe.
And last on my list, ‘Notes of a Dirty Old Man’ a collection of articles that Charles Bukowski wrote in the 60’s for an underground paper in LA. If you ever want to fully get a grasp of what stream of consciousness means, this is the place to start.
So now I set off on my own journey down the stream. I have no clue where this will go, and lord knows I’ve tried to set off on this journey more than once. Bear with me, who ever that quote can be attributed to, I hope I remember the second part, because I’m sure as hell doing the first.