“For many years I have asked myself, Why do you spend time with other people? but I never really attempted to come up with an answer. I always believed I was asking myself a rhetorical question, but this week I thought I would try and find an answer, because a question you ask yourself a thousand times eventually deserves to be answered.
And I figure if I know why I go out, I might feel less suspicious of myself for going out. I might criticize myself less. I might be able to look around a party without thinking, What a fool – why did you come – you should have stayed at home.”
Thanks to the Hart House Review, the new issue of which was just launched last night, I am suddenly enamoured with Sheila Heti, who has a story and an interview in it. I am currenty reading all kinds of things about her and ploughing through the large archive of her writings that are available online (McSweeney’s has a bunch) and I intend to go purchase her two books as soon as possible. Lynn Crosbie compared her to Donald Barthelme, which is high praise indeed in my books. Heti studied art history and philosophy at U of T and is thus automatically dear to my heart, but from what I’ve seen so far, she is also deeply interested in how to live and the morality of art and writing and actually able to articulate that interest in a totally unpretentious and funny way while still holding onto the basic seriousness of what she wants to talk about.
I mentioned this before, but I am reading Karl Jaspers right now and I am all knee-deep in his thinking and going around asking myself whether everything I’m looking at jives with Jaspers or not and Sheila Heti really jives with Jaspers. She could make a man of Jaspers, let me tell you. They could get down.