I’m floundering with Summing-Up in an unexpected way. The more time I set aside for thinking, the less I want to spend it writing Summing-Up, which was never intended to be thoughtful work as a discussion of the approach to thoughtful work. I’m also not convinced we aren’t all going to die in about fourteen months so who needs a bunch of rumination on Maugham. It’s not even deeply personal. I just always was willing to give him more credit than some other people in undergrad—not even writers, necessarily. When I was getting ready to read The Summing Up, I thought it’d be amazing if I could somehow conjure meaningful connections between his life and my own, but then I started reading it; it quickly dashed all my hopes of a profound conclusion to the project. Not sure I’m ever going to be profound about anything but it sure isn’t going to be W. Somerset Maugham. There’s just not enough material. There’s nothing wrong with there not being enough material. There’s not enough material for most writers. There’s not enough for Henry Miller—not unless that Andrew McCarthy plays Henry Miller movie I’ve got waiting to watch is somehow transcendent—and poor Hemingway….
Have I shared my Hemingway TV show idea on Summing-Up? It’s called “Hemingway is a Daddy.” The idea is that Hemingway (played by Corey Stoll, of course) is woken up in modern day New York. Well, pre-Trump modern day. Before the end. He falls in with these really cool group of female web writers—I’m not name dropping them but I do follow at least the two principals on Twitter—and, you know, slowly becomes—thoroughly, comprehensively, and not ironically—woke. Because it’s Hemingway, he’s going to put on a show not to be a pig right off and by the time he’s ready to be a pig, he’s, you know, not a pig anymore. But really funny. With narration. Or not.
Anyway. I was fine taking a break from responding to a Maugham book back in November, but now I just don’t see the point in going back to it right now. It’s not the kind of writing I want to do. And it’s what I was using to keep Summing-Up afloat. So. Decisions decisions.