(This was written two years ago before a research trip to upstate New York. I was then interested in a book on Native American Wine-- to follow up the then unpublished Edges of Bounty. I couldn't convince myself of its worth at that time.)
"To come to terms with the shallowness of the material. Cups and saucers. It is neither the small specific eternal, an axe, much wood use, a thousand hands in its atmosphere, nor a useful catagory-- love, honor, truth.
Moreover, it is corrupted. Surrounded by midge noise black flies gnats mosquito hum. Luxury, expertise, power.
The enormity of the fortunes and the span of empire.
These forces carry a kind of psychic weight. Once can fight or play into or attempt to see honestly. The force is real but the basis is false.
The author's option is to create his own world in story or a personal associative philological texture of expression.
But in nonfiction, every thing is more immediate- the distillation doesn't happen... or that is my fear. A fear of immediacy.
I am discontent.
Wine as peasant craft.
Expression of place, but ignoring the fetish of place, the privilege of it... specificity and distinction without the exclusion of others... kaleidoscope. Non-hierarchical.
I must always return to the thing itself. It is not a redemption- the is no solution- (or, what is 'solution') but it is a touchstone, a grounding moment a method of honesty.
'Discriminating.' Don't forget the larger issue-- this is part of a liberating work. Take this seriously. It is good work.
The thing is, this has not been clearly articulated..."
There is a lot here to cling to, enlarge, and finish. A fine document found while cleaning out my garage.