The midnight disease



The midnight disease is a kind of emotional insomnia;

at every conscious moment its victim – even if he or she writes at dawn, or in the middle of the afternoon – feels like a person lying in a sweltering bedroom, with the window thrown open, looking up at a sky filled with stares and airplanes, listening to the narrative of a rattling blind, an ambulance, a fly trapped in a Coke bottle, while all around him the neighbours soundly sleep. This is in my opinion why writers – like insomniacs – are so accident-prone, so obsessed with the calculus of bad luck and missed opportunities, so liable to rumination and a concomitant inability to let go of a subject even when urged repeatedly to do so.

Michael Chabon The Wonder Boys Random House Paperback 2008 p 20




4 thoughts on “The midnight disease

  1. Chabon has a nonfiction book about writing, “Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands.” In fact, now that I have pulled it off the shelf, I have to re-read it — I’ve forgotten exactly what he said in “Golems I have known,” “Trickster in a Suit of Lights.”

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