On Nina MacLaughlin's column 'The Moon in Full' for The Paris Review
“Why I don’t write” by Susan Minot.
I have not read Nina MacLaughlin, but now I most certainly will. I love this paragraph. To me, it is playful (in the broadest since of the word) in a way I think more essays, fiction, etc. should be, even when serious. Don Quixote is ultimately a very serious work, but the idea of play, that keeps us from sinking under the weight of our personal sorrows. This paragraph makes me think of - and I'm not saying she's imitating him, I mean this as a high complement - of some of the best of Italo Calvino's work. And it certainly makes me think of his posthumously published short collection of lectures at Harvard, 'Six Memos for the Next Millennium'. That is to say, if he were to read just this paragraph, I am guessing Calvino would say, 'yes, this is the aesthetic I was talking about...' I want to read all of her work as soon as I can. Thank you, Summer.