BY WILLIAM EATON
About the Author
The Riddle of the Miners
The Anvil and the
The Beauty of the
John Ruskin and His
Kleptomania and Its
Smile and the Whole
World Smiles with You
Tiens, voilą une baffe
There is an object called
The Prophet Jonah
Photo by David Plakke
In youth received an MFA from Columbia, published a novel (Algonquin Books), was an award-winning journalist and an editor in the alternative (left-leaning) press. In one twist in the road nominated Erotic Writer of the Year by a generous English organization. (N.B.: The present chapbook may disappoint those looking for traces of this youthful talent.)
For many years has earned a decent, proletarian living as a linguist, specializing in English and French, and occasionally in Russian as well. In another twist helped a French filmmaker with subtitles and pitches for English money.
Choices is a selection from a series of short personal essays that were issued in chapbooks, more or less annually, a few years ago.
Presuming these Choices call attention to how we do not realize what choices we are making, it can be imagined that they also beg something like the following question: Given how little we know about what choices we are making, and about our goals, our selves, the consequences of our actions —can we be said to be making any choices at all? This question encapsulates the lengthy scholarly disquisition — working title, On Human Ignorance — which threatens to consume, albeit happily, the remaining days or decades of this author's life.
interest to the author: Can one explore such a subject without fear of
footnotes and while retaining a certain light-heartedness?
Or, alternatively, can prolonged scholarly exploration of
such a subject — in addition to turning off many attractive women
—induce, if not light-heartedness, then some degree of untroubledness
(ataraxia, the goal of ancient sceptics)? Probably not.
William Eaton's "What Can Mailer — and Dickinson, Rousseau, Conrad and
— Tell Us About How to Earn a Living as a Writer?' from Writers on the Job.