So our aspiring, young writer hits the road, where he encounters Nigel Moon, bestselling author. The writer seeks out this author in hopes that his experience and wisdom would rub off.
"The life of a starving artist is only romantic on the big screen or the printed page. I lived it and quickly discovered I didn’t enjoy suffering for my art. Didn’t mean I loved it less; just that I was more materialistic than I thought." (12)
"We’re a strange breed. I don’t trust naturally happy, well-adjusted writers. I’ve never met an artist enamored with life. I don’t think the two can coexist." (13)
At this point, I have to say that I am awestruck by Nigel Moon. He appears to be standoffish and ill-tempered. In fact, you probably wouldn't think of him as a bestselling author. But what sets him apart are his words, words full of candid reverence, words so brutal yet lovely.
"Artists tend to be crap at business." (14) Yeah, that's true.
"My art has become my nemesis. Because of the goddamn dollar.” (15)
It's hard to say what the writer felt after meeting Moon, especially after that Hemmingway parable (God, did he really shoot himself because he couldn't come up with anything?) but, nevertheless, he continues on with his mission to "begin writing...or, at least, begin the attempts at writing." But what happens when a once-brilliant writer now devoid of words asks you to write the final book in his contract?
In part two, the writer talks of becoming an atheist as a young boy in his sorely religious town, where his father was the pastor. Rewinding in time, the boy relives days of his childhood, reminiscing on his resentment for God, the church, and his father. The reader will enjoy the boy's foolish mischief driven by his wild-eye naiveté in the presence of a holy town.
"If your past experiences, even one of them, had been different, you'd be a different person. Perhaps only slightly different, but different." (113)
Well-written, engaging, and completely relatable, Becoming the Moon is a tantalizing tale of desolated loss and strenuous yearning. As artists, we crave the written word and dream of literary excellence without the compromise of prideful integrity. It is a true portrayal of an artist's passion ruminative in sorrowful and intellectual prose. Story is about a struggle, a struggle at seeking out what was lost or never had; it is a test of ethics and survival of a true work of art in the face of "the system."
"We artists are nothing; it is the art. We are only conduits. When the artist becomes the art, the art itself dies." (143)
"The world owes the artist nothing...the artist is the one who owes the world." (150)
My rating: 5 stars