Well, I’ve finally read some Elizabeth Gilbert and I am sorry for all of the assumptions that I made in the past. Very sorry. The Signature of All Things was a wonderful book and her characters became quite dear to me. I still dislike the title, Eat Pray Love, but I suppose I will have to get over it.
All we manage to achieve in The Signature of All Things is to follow a life–one whole life of an interested woman–a woman who is so interested in science and the natural world that she is able to make do with the regular old life that we’re all stuck with, she is able to find just enough light for herself.
The “This is Water ” [shown below] video that someone made of a David Foster Wallace commencement speech was floating around the internet today and I watched it again even though I remembered taking issue with it the first time I saw it. It reminds me of the author Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk about mental health and artists and how we need to look out for our geniuses and keep them healthy by not making depression glamourous.
Of course, Gilbert’s talk came to mind because David Foster Wallace killed himself. And when I watched that Ted Talk, I thought that it was a little presumptuous of Gilbert to imagine that her experience is similar to the “typical” ruined genius. She basically writes self-help books, right?
Then I felt like a jerk, because maybe that’s a shitty thing to think. What do I know about Elizabeth Gilbert?