>esprit d’escalier

>Geoff replied to my last post about wanting to sound like a Gilmore Girl with “I watched West Wing and Sports Night non stop to sound like an Aaron Sorkin character, and I did my level best, but alas, not to be.”

That got me to thinking. I think a big part of the blog movement is a reaction to the age-old problem of “esprit d’escalier–” that great French phrase from “wit” and “stairs” that means thinking of a witty remark too late. I guess it’s really just an extension of a writer’s age-old quandary, being able to write sparkling prose when you’ve got the time to think, but coming off as boring in conversations. I know that I’ve written far more witty stuff since I started blogging… but don’t think I’ve become much more interesting in conversation.

Why is it that I can have a great running commentary in my head, but it can only be pushed out by my fingers, not my mouth? It can’t just be a fear or inability to speak in public, because I’ve tried recording my thoughts. Even when alone, speaking to a recorded stems my creative flow; the only thing I’ve found it useful for is recording plot points or subjects when I’m driving, or my hands are otherwise occupied.

If this isn’t making a lot of sense, or seems unusually philosophical for me, it’s probably because in the past 2+ weeks, I’ve been lucky to get 6 hours of sleep a night. Starr = no function well on less than 7 hours of sleep. Which means Starr no function well… most of the time.


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