Gornick: Breathtaking Connections and Mismatched Ones


I had one of those evenings at a party recently that Vivian Gornick describes so well in her stints teaching in university towns, where it is so obvious that you are not connecting with the room, the energy, the furniture or even the food on the table.

You’re there craving intense, fast flowing, intellectual conversation, the kind that rolls off the tongue of each person you encounter, where you know you’ll learn something and go home smarter and more enriched in at least one small way. Not always so, is it?

As more of a New Yorker than not, I suppose I crave rich, diverse conversations with people who push my mind beyond my own limits, and those with dancing energizing eyes that draw you in and say, “c’mon in, get to know me, find out who I am, open me up, tear things apart, make me hunger for things I’ve not yet explored…..”

As a publicist and daughter of two natural connectors, I’ve never had a problem with chatter talk, the kind that is just there, takes up air and space, but doesn’t really give back to the universe in any significant way. They, like our largely tactical business exchanges, make up the majority of our daily encounters.

I smiled knowingly as I read this Gornick dialogue recount, one that drained rather than enriched. You know the temporarily mismatched hour or evening or day I’m taking about, where you “remain a collection of expatriates, isolated from one another, each of you hanging there in solitary southern space.”

“What a relief it must be to away,” he says.
“Not really,” she says.
“It’s great here, they leave you alone,” he says.
“I hate being left alone,” she says.
“How can you write with the literary Mafia breathing down your neck?” he says.
“I live below Fourteenth Street, the Mafia doesn’t leave mid-town,” she says.
“You see the establishment shit getting published all the time, it’s demoralizing,” he says.
“Everything gets published nowadays, not just establishment writing,” she says.
“You can’t possibly get a decent reading in a mainstream house,” he says.
“Are you kidding? Never before in the history of the world has so much writing gone to print, good and bad alike,” she says.

She writes of two categories of friendship, perhaps you can relate? “those in which people are enlivened by each other and those in which people must be enlivened to be with each other. In the first category, one clears the decks to be together. In the second, one looks for an empty space in the schedule.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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