Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Manhood for Amateurs

"... In the early sixties... there was no such thing as Marvel fandom. Marvel was a failing company, crushed, strangled and bullied in the marketplace by its giant rival, DC.

... But in the pages of the Marvel comic books, Lee behaved from the start as if a vast, passionate readership awaited each issue... And in a fairly short period of time, this chutzpah - as in all those accounts of magical chutzpah so beloved by solitary boys like me - was rewarded. By pretending to have a vast network of fans, former fan Stanley Leiber found himself in possession of a vast network of fans...

"... Art, like fandom, asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude. The novelist, the cartoonist, the songwriter, knows the gesture is doomed from the beginning but makes it anyway, flashes his or her bit of mirror, not on the chance that the signal will be seen or understood but as if such a chance existed."

Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs, on being a writer and a father. Go forth and read it. You can buy it here.

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