This morning I felt a huge need to go and buy some books. I have tried to fight this impulse over the past few months because my tendency is to go and buy lots of stuff and then bring it home and not read it. Today was different, though, because I was armed with a gift certificate from my birthday and I desperately needed some sort of mentor text to help me re-align my approach.
A brief note on the mentor text: For some reason I have always had a sympathy for mimicry. I think my early fascination with Weird Al Yankovic and my current obsession with Stephen Colbert have managed to make my mind a place where things always echo other things before they yield creative output.
So I wanted to hear some voices of other authors so that I could ride on that wave of inspiration to achieve a larger word count. Before I went to the bookstore I read a few chapters from Catcher in the Rye and The Adventure of Augie March before settling on Baldwin’s Another Country. But none of these seemed to stick, so I went out to get more.
Pacing the aisles of Barnes and Noble, listening to Glenn Gould, I spent about two hours reading titles and snippets before I settled on two books: The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol. I am very interested to see how these play out in my work this weekend.
(by the by… is it a coincidence that they are both gay artists? no, not at all. this is still extremely important to me.)