2 thoughts on “Photo of the Day

  1. Dear Jim,
    I enjoyed your interview on Fresh Air. And, your attention to the subject of emotion, in the characters of your stories, and as a matter of significance for yourself as a writer, and for artists generally, was particularly interesting to me.
    I am a young person struggling to make it the city I was born in – SF, CA. I am a 30 year-old, high school educated, American peasant who is fortunate just to work for a national corporation that pays me for 40/week. I often feel discouraged. I enjoy attending some Unitarian Universalist events. I am presently reading, The Historical Jesus, as well as some histories of ancient Rome; also, a biography of Mother Teresa. And I am looking forward to reading through your short stories. It is difficult for me to find fiction that I enjoy.
    For creating stories, you have said that you put your childlike imaginative life to work on a more serious level; and, that your characters access, or, do not access, their emotions, throughout the stories. What is the more serious level?
    What is emotion? What is its significance?
    It is unusual for emotion to be as prominently and respectfully regarded, as it was so regarded in your interview about your life and your characters. Will you be more specific – can you explain your regard for emotion in more detail? How does it agree with, add to, and disagree with my ideas about emotion?
    I believe that, in our culture, on the whole, emotion is enormously under-appreciated. I believe that when we feel emotion, we are feeling a tension between our conscious and subconscious states. This tension (emotion) will remain until a resolution is reached by way of a changed conscious understanding that accords with our subconscious. The subconscious state being the most accurate and reliable “interpreter” of the reality that surrounds us, our emotions guide us to reality. They guide us away from miss-formed abstractions of the conscious mind, and guide us toward stronger, larger, natural patterns that underlie our physical existence, and on which we may rely upon to build more accurate abstractions with which to “work” with moving forward. Emotion separates our conscious state, which fumbles and bumbles along, and is constantly reforming and correcting mistakes of perception, from our subconscious, more stable, reliable, “unsentimental” understanding of the world.
    Please reply if you find it interesting.
    Sincerely, Jovan Jones

    ***Note from Jim Shepard Website Manager: I forwarded this to Jim, but I really loved your comment so I thought I’d publish it for others to read and comment upon.

  2. Dear Mr Shepard,

    I’ve been reading, and enjoying your book You Think That’s Bad, and was surprised to see the name of my hometown, Mineral Point, Wisconsin appear in the story Happy with Crocodiles (p.72). Very curious to know how you happened to choose that town (from all the other towns in the world about which the same question could have been posed.) I left M.P. after eighth grade in 1957 and have lived in CA since 1967. Just wondering whether you might have also had a personal connection to the place.

    Tony May

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