"It's Been a Good Life", by Isaac Asimov

I didn't think an autobiography could impact me as much as Asimov's did. It is a wonderful read. Asimov was an extremely prolific writer - he wrote on phyics, chemistry, mathematics, history, and science fiction. His insights into the writing process are golden, along with his views on life in general. I've never dog-eared a book as much as I did with this one. I've added some one-line quotes from the book, but here some are some snippets from the text:

A prolific writer, therefore, has to have self-assurance. He can't sit around doubting the quaility of his writing. Rather, he has to love his own writing. I do. I can pick up any one of my books, start reading it anywhere, and immediately be lost in it and keep on reading until I am shaken out of the spell by some external event...If I didn't enjoy my writing so much, how on earth could I stand all the writing I do?

[About joining Mensa] It struck me that I did not particularly want to associate with people on the sole ground that they were like me in whatever quality it is that makes one do well on an intelligence test. I wanted people who more or less shared my common assumptions and universe outlook so that there could be a reasonable dialog.

And as I was flying back to Minnesota Friday night, I was nearing the end of the book, and I found this gem:

The soft bonds of love are indifferent to life and death. They hold through time so that yesterday's love is part of today's and the confidence in tomorrow's love is also part of today's. And when one dies, the memory lives in the other, and is warm and breathing. And when both die--I almost believe, rationalist though I am--that somewhere it remains, indestructible and eternal, enriching all of the universe by the mere fact that once it existed.

That made me want to get home that much faster.

I highly recommend this book. Asimov is a great storyteller. He's honest, funny, and touching.

* Posted at 10.24.2004 10:16:39 AM CST | Link *

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