Toil and Trouble
How the World Has Mistreated Me (Thus Far)
by David Dvorkin
I have no idea where I'm going with this.
Of course I've often thought about writing my autobiography. Who hasn't? I've let myself imagine that my novels will some day be important enough that someone will want or need the information in such an autobiography. Or, even if my novels are never considered important, that some graduate student in the future, searching desperately for an obscure novelist of the past that no one else has bothered writing about and from whose works he can therefore glean a paper or - golly! - a dissertation will come across this and feel some gratitude that I took the trouble. (That's not false modesty; it's a painful attempt at being realistic.)
Apart from all of that, I thought it might be entertaining for me to write this and for others to read it.
I'm also hoping that this exercise will bring back memories that have vanished long ago. I've read that that's a common experience when people write their autobiographies. My memory is and always has been awful. I've forgotten so much that I wish I could remember - serious stuff, personal stuff, important stuff. It would be wonderful, even if no doubt frequently painful, to have it all back.
Not that I have any intention of sharing all those memories. The very personal stuff will never show up here, although a lot of it might end up, altered, in novels I'll write later. That's already happened, to a minor extent, and I think it'll probably happen to a greater extent later. (I'm being mysterious partly because of my inherent shyness and partly because I don't want to make things too easy for that hypothetical graduate student in the future.)
I am afraid that the enthusiasm I'm starting this with will fade and I'll end up with a very brief summary, mostly consisting of "and then I wrote" and "and then I lost that job". (And then I wrote X but couldn't sell it to a publisher. So then I wrote Y and sold it but no one read it. So then I whined and whimpered and wept for an awfully long time. And then I picked myself up and wrote Z, but no one wanted to publish it because Y had been such a failure. So then . . . ) When I began this project, I feared that I'd end up with just a file or two on my PC, and none of this would ever be seen by anyone else. So I've decided to put the files on the Dvorkin Web site as I go, in hopes that that will make me feel obligated to keep adding to them.
- In the Beginning
- A Redhead on the Dark Continent