O, What a Luxury

Gar­ri­son Keil­lor is not a con­ven­tion­al author, so in hind­sight it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that after a very con­ven­tion­al intro­duc­tion, Mr. Keil­lor calm­ly stepped in front of the podi­um, glanced toward the ceil­ing, and began hum­ming a hymn with the tac­it assump­tion that all present should sing along in four-part har­mo­ny. (The audi­ence oblig­ed.) So began the event billed as “Gar­ri­son Keil­lor reads from and dis­cuss­es O, What a Lux­u­ry: Vers­es Lyri­cal, Vul­gar, Pathet­ic & Pro­found.”

The oth­er cir­cum­stance which shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing is that Mr. Keil­lor did not read from any­thing. A man who can recall Shake­speare and Frost with the same ease as his own verse, min­gling them effort­less­ly with his rich­ly detailed tales, has no need for such a crutch.

For­tu­nate­ly, there was dis­cus­sion.

Freddie’s ques­tion was my favorite: “Do you ever get writer’s block?” Keil­lor stood next to us and respond­ed with­out hes­i­ta­tion: No. Peo­ple who get writer’s block are the kind of peo­ple who want to have writ­ten some­thing, not those who want to write. “Den­tists don’t get den­tal block… or at least, if they do, they don’t tell any­one about it.”

One Comment

  1. errhode December 6, 2013

    I’m real­ly jeal­ous.

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