To live above the merely personal does not require plying oars against colossal currents, either. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” is a great little book and deals with its own verities — the world is not in your control; courage begins at free fall; the best path is not the straight path. The lessons of the “Odyssey,” minus the sex. Harold draws his dream in crayon and then wants to go home, to his window, which has been there all along. The key to his destiny is that window, which is something to look out of, away from himself. At no time is Harold self-conscious, self-pitying or self-congratulatory. He knows how to draw a life, and how to live.
From “How to Write Great” by Roger Rosenblatt among other entertaining, illuminating, and sharp “How To” essays in this week’s New York Times Book Review. (I’m partial to Colson Whitehead’s “How to Write” myself.)