.When I began this blog, I promised to post every Monday and Friday, to the best of my ability. To my astonishment, I only very rarely missed one of those posts. On the whole, as a general rule, I've managed to post five days a week. This was a lot more than I thought I could do.
Yesterday, I drove three hundred miles to Pittsburgh, and today I drove three hundred miles back. Arriving home this evening, I thought there was nothing I could possibly say here. But then I turned on the TV and found Casablanca.
Two things struck me then. The first was what a good actor Dooley Wilson was. This was at a time when black actors only rarely appeared in Hollywood movies, and then as menials in roles they worked hard to make positive messages to the white majority. When Ilse refers to to Sam as "the boy," it comes as a shock. But it was routine then.
Watch the movie now, however, and Wilson's Sam is the equal of any of the other characters.
The other thing that struck me was how luminous the movie is, shot by shot. It's as close to perfect as Hollywood ever got. And yet, as it was being made, the movie was a fiasco. Nobody knew how it would end. Nobody knew what was going on. Nobody knew whether Ilse still loved Rick. But there was a big commitment of resources, so they simply plowed forward, doing as best they could.
To create a work of art.
This is the life of the artist, of the creator. You simply go forward, doing as best you can. The result looks like it sucks but you turn it in. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Despair is the common lot. It's very easy to give in.
If you don't give in, the result may well suck. But once in a blue moon, it may be Casablanca.
Here endeth the sermon. Go thou forth and commit literary sins no more.