For your weekend reading, a wonderful essay called “Get Over It Or Die” by Anna Baker over at Drunken Boat. It’s about Baker’s friendship with the late writer Barry Hannah. She was a student of his at the University of Mississippi and, superficially, it’s a story about the writing life and the desire for a writing life. Really, though, it’s a story how to be a good teacher and what it means to have another person who believes in you. It’s also about how to actually live life, writing or not.:
He was my friend. I’d done everything wrong in the past three years, and still, he was my friend, and that made all the difference. He believed that one of these days I was going to develop the balls to put in the hard hours without guarantee of like or love. He read all my work including the fifty pages of unrevised dribble I’d written on a two day spree—stories about suicides in Berlin, people jumping from windows, landing and cracking like plates, woman sleeping with village idiots, not knowing they were idiots, then finding out too late, after the damage was done. Long paragraphs about accordions. Long paragraphs about lesbian nuns in the middle ages meeting under the cities to have sex. All of it Barry called a waste of his time and painful for the eyes. But that didn’t mean he stopped reading.
Here’s the Fresh Air remembrance of Hannah. He died three years ago.
Image by Les Butcher via Flickr Commons