Geoff Dyer is one-third of my older man crush trifecta. (The other two, Anthony Bourdain and Mark Bittman) He holds the Englishman title and best writer in the bunch. I could go on and on about all his books. In the past two years Picador has reissued some of Dyer’s earlier works with beautiful new covers. Last spring I annoyed my friends by talking incessantly about Out of Sheer Rage. All of Dyer’s writing has that boyish-manliness that I so enjoy. It’s playful, smart, dry, and self-deprecating. Overall it’s just really enjoyable to read and experience. Out of Sheer Rage in particular is an odd entity. It is about writing about DH Lawrence. It’s about grappling with writing, traveling, loving, and ultimately dealing with everyday life seen through the eyes of Lawrence and Dyer. I copied down many paragraphs from this book but this is one of my favorites,
Unless like Thelma and Louise you plunge off the side of a canyon, there is no escaping the everyday. What Lawrence’s life demonstrates so powerfully is that it actually takes a daily effort to be free. To be free is not the result of a moment’s decisive action but a project to be constantly renewed. More than anything else, freedom requires tenaciousness. There are intervals of repose but there will never come a state of definitive rest where you can give up because you have turned freedom into a permanent condition. Freedom is always precarious.
Dyer goes on to say,
‘The only history is a mere question of one’s struggle inside oneself,’ he declared, and in the midst of this struggle a man gained a sense of his ’his inner destiny.’
This book takes a journey through Lawrence’s destiny, Dyer’s destiny and I found that by reading it, it encompassed my own as well.