Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Series about Heroes

It may come as no shock to anyone reading that I need to work to be happy. I was raised as a secular humanist but you know, idle hands blah blah blah.

I'm not working right now, for health reasons. But I'm getting bored and antsy. So I'm giving myself a project. Or, I noticed I've already started working on a project, but I do better with projects if I give myself homework. So........

I'm going to write a series of mini-essays about my literary heroes. I decided to start with essayists, just to keep it small and under control. Here's my list so far, just in the order that I've been working on/thinking about them. I'll also make links and tag all the posts as I write them--I'm trying to get better at tagging and may undertake a big tagging consolidation one of these days.

Eve Sedgwick
James Baldwin
George Orwell
Joan Didion
Hilton Als
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Jacques Ranciere (apologies that I don't know how to make diacritics in html)
Emily Bernard
Hazel Carby
E.B. White
Jonathan Kozol
Gary Rubenstein
Hanna Rosin
Salman Rushdie
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shoot, I had it at a baker's dozen, but then I had to add one more, and then one more. Man, this could get really unwieldy.

A hero is, in most cases, someone I don't know personally. But that definition could evolve in interesting ways. For now, it just allowed me to leave Tim off the list to make room for someone else. Some of the other people on this list are/were known by people I know. But, for the sake of argument (and for limits), let's say a hero is someone I don't know. And while on the subject of definitions, it perhaps doesn't go without saying that my heroes are complicated people, and I don't worship them. I just admire them.

My goal is to get through half this list by January 1. By then maybe I'll be working again and too busy to write anymore. Part of why I want to do this is to keep myself from trying to do my job from home, which I'm not supposed to do. This isn't a promise, it's just a plan. If I come back in weeks or months and didn't do this, I won't feel bad about myself. I promise that to myself.