He writes like a preacher, or maybe a madman, like there aren't enough words in the world for what he needs to say. He writes with the fervor of the self-educated, of someone who came to his powers late and with surprise, and no small amount of pride. There's effort in it, pure sweat and blood. Not that it's effortful, or labored, but it's thoughtful. He takes care. There's work on the page. The words sit where he wants them to, with a grace and a balance, which is to me what separates a writer from someone telling a story. He wants to understand and to be understood; there is so much of himself he wants to share but not all the time in the world. We write for love and we read for pleasure but it's a business in the end, man. Simon & Schuster wants product.
My belief is that this book is only 508 pages long because he had to stop somewhere. Because there was a contract and a pub date and a marketing plan. Not because he wanted to.
In analysis you work to turn the ghosts that haunt you into ancestors who accompany you. That takes hard work and a lot of love, but it's the way we lessen the burdens our children have to carry. Insisting on our own experience, our own final calculus of love, trouble, hard times and, if we're lucky, a little transcendence. This is how we claim our own lives as sons and daughters, independent souls on our piece of ground. It's not always an option. There are irretrievable lives and unredeemable sins, but the chance to rise above is one I wish for yours and mine.