In Praise of Failure

It wasn’t one of my New Year’s res­o­lu­tions but I’m com­mit­ted to blog­ging more. I did, how­ever, resolve to read a story a day (on top of my other read­ing) and am two tales into Alan Heathcock’s Volt. Two pas­sages I’ll share. After all, why not let a book rec­om­mend itself? They’re both from the sec­ond story, “Smoke.”

“I don’t know,” he said. “What’s bet­ter any­way, Ver­non? To have the Devil in me, or to have it be me alone?”

And this:

Ver­non crossed the room and crawled from the shim­mer­ing cavern…pushed on toward the light of day. He stepped out onto the ledge and into the heat, and it felt like leav­ing a the­ater after the mati­nee had shown a sad film, the glare of sun­shine after the dark­ness far too real to suffer.

At left, mean­while, Com­pan­hia Das Letras’s (Brazil) fan­tas­tic Mr. Peanut cover, incor­po­rat­ing the book’s mys­te­ri­ous murder/suicide and a Mobius band.

Finally, from Chap­ter 16, an essay of mine adapted from my com­mence­ment address to Har­peth Hall’s Class of 2011. It’s in praise of failure.