WGS: It was also clear you could not write directly about the horror of atrocities in their ultimate forms, because no one could bear to look at these things without losing their sanity. So you would have to approach it from an angle, and by intimating to the reader that these subjects are constant company; their presence shades every inflection of every sentence one writes. If one can make that credible, then one can begin to defend writing about these subjects at all.
“He sunk it! It’s over! The American wins. Bradley wins! And it’s on to the FedEx, the FedEx, and the way is pointed to another great year in golf! It’s a dream come true for the young man from Vermont, Vermont!”
And it was also a dream come true for the happy loser. He never imagined playing in major championships or playing with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. “That was a milestone in itself. I’m not going to let this define my career. I’m young, not as young as I once was young, but I’ll have more time to win majors and use what happened today as a positive.”
I asked him if you can you find the meaning of life in personal relationships?
“Are you kidding? Golf isn’t everything.” He tilted his head back and thought. Then he sang:
“My heart is leapin’!
I’m having trouble sleepin’!
‘Cause I love you, a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck I do!
Doodle, oodle, oodle.
Doodle, oodle, oodle.
Doodle oodle oodle oo.”
“They didn’t write that for nothing,” he said. “Those lyrics tell you more than a whole monograph about life and personal relationships.” Well, let’s hope not.
WGS: The moral backbone of literature is about that whole question of memory. To my mind it seems clear that those who have no memory have the much greater chance to lead happy lives. But it is something you cannot possibly escape: your psychological make-up is such that you are inclined to look back over your shoulder. Memory, even if you repress it, will come back at you and it will shape your life. Without memories there wouldn’t be any writing: the specific weight an image or phrase needs to get across to the reader can only come from things remembered – not from yesterday but from a long time ago.