I mentioned below that I wanted to restart this blog with a discussion on literary ambition. And instead, I gave you over the last week what I referred to as “boring”: just some news on me. This delay is explained by my sometimes contradictory and often muddled thoughts on the subject of ambition. So I want to take this piece-by-piece, and perhaps through these fragments, and with the help of your comments, I can come to some kind of understanding of the subject.

First, I’ll define my terms. I’ll refer to the Donald Hall essay I linked to below: “Poetry and Ambition”. He opens with this statement:

I see no reason to spend your life writing poems unless your goal is to write great poems.


I do not complain that we find ourselves incapable of such

achievement; I complain that we seem not even to entertain the desire.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The Bridge of Sighs

broadsheetcrafting clichesMr WignallThe DaVinci Codead nauseum


Writing, at its best, is a lonely life…For [the writer] does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.