The Delight of Delights

Ross Gay’s composition of essays, The Book of Delights highlights a very real human need to exist and find joy in the seemingly mundane that surrounds us. The delights offered throughout strike me as something that is extremely forgiving and an exercise to find ways of accountability and creativity. The challenge of creating a small essay every day that offers a reference to literary training that desires to be kept up is admirable. I love that these essays are personal in a way that allows the reader to feel invited and understood at the same level without ever giving off the sentiment of intruding into someone’s headspace.

In the chapter “Writing by Hand”, there is a great sentiment about the way a writer composes their thoughts whether it be by hand or written out on a laptop. There is the idea that writing more poetical musings by hand gives the equal sense of freedom that is found in the poetry medium as opposed to prose. To me, writing out my thoughts by hand feels more personal and in the moment. This could be the connection Gay makes to his poetry and delights being handwritten and freer, but personally, I do tend to lean towards the handwritten method.

Placing my thoughts bare on a page of paper allows the forgiveness aspect that I find throughout these delights. As Gay notes the unforgiveness of the delete button, there is the notion that there is too much thought placed into creating a piece of literature. From personal experience, I would rather find myself composing longer prose with pen and paper and making corrections as I transcribe onto a laptop, seemingly a little less unforgiving but more work on my end. Yet, I am able to keep the same flow of ideas and creativity without the need to make endless corrections and wonder if any of it does make sense.

2 Responses to The Delight of Delights

  1. Brandon Eichelberg January 26, 2023 at 7:51 pm #

    I really like how you related this specific chapter/essay of Ross Gay’s book to your own experience. Much like you, and Gay, it seems that we find writing to be an intimate experience. Writing allows one to spill their thoughts out onto a page. So, wouldn’t it be more human for one to complete such a process by hand? I tend to write poetry and journal entries by hand, which, as Gay notes, allows one to focus on each word with more proficiency. I like to write essays, however, on my computer because there is way more to write down; therefore, I want to let it pour out of me as quickly as possible.

  2. Prof VZ January 29, 2023 at 6:56 pm #

    Thanks for this reflection on the slowness and process of writing by hand–something that has now, in our tech age, taken on the quality of authenticity. I love how technological change can render older technologies (writing is just an older technology) newly aesthetic and appreciated. It’s like the turn to older digital cameras, or vinyl. Once the way things were, now they are charged with new purpose driven by nostalgia.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Skip to toolbar