02 April 2011

Defying Time's Authority Figure

If I still kept a commonplace book, here's a passage I would copy into it. It's from last week's New Yorker (March 21, 2011), p. 54, in an article by Dana Goodyear (an improbable name!) called "Hollywood Shadows: A Cure for Blocked Screenwriters":

By far the most common problem afflicting the writers in [therapist Barry] Michels's practice is procrastination, which he understands in term of Jung's Father archetype. "They procrastinate because they have no external authority figure demanding that they write," he says. "Often I explain to the patient that there is an authority figure he's answerable to, but he's not human. It's Time itself that's passing inexorably. That's why they call it Father Time. Every time you procrastinate or waste time, you're defying this authority figure." Procrastination, he says, is "a spurious form of immortality," the ego's way of claiming that it has all the time in the world ....

Has the blog taken over the realm of the commonplace book, as it has that if the personal journal? I rather hope not; the paper-and-ink version is a tradition worth preserving. I still have my grandfather's commonplace book, which he started as a Harvard undergraduate in about 1910. If I get to it, I'll post a picture of it here once I'm at my "real" computer, the one that I can upload photos to. (Note to Father Time: Sometimes procrastination is simply a matter of not having the right technology.)

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