I'm still at the point where it thrills me to think that people actually walk into bookstores and buy my new book, people who are not actually close relatives of mine, such as my mother. And to think these people actually take it home and read it! How extremely nice of them. But if somebody buys it, and reads it, and then reviews it positively....That's a huge treat.
I got a happy-making e-mail from William Irwin last night saying he'd posted a review on his myspace blog. In fact, he's not actually a relative of mine, but the editor of Blackwell's Philosophy and PopCulture Series. His newest book is Metallica and Philosophy. I love the subtitle--"A Crash Course in Brain Surgery."Being metallica-challenged, I haven't read it, but I do have The Simpsons and Philosophy, which Irwin edited when he was affiliated with Open Court. The book's got a great article called "Thus Spake Bart: On Nietzsche and the Virtues of Being Bad"(by Mark Conrad), from which I learned a significant amount of what I know about Nietzsche. A friend of mine uses the book as the basis for a philosophy course.
Irwin calls my book "a wonderfully accessible work of philosophy." No, really, he's not related. He makes an observation about the title that amused me. He says it suggests "existential heaviness," when in fact it "indicates the balancing that needs to be done." Exactly. When I chose the title, I was thinking about the way we attach different weights to different things. But I'm beginning to think it really does convey (to some people) something like "the unbearable heaviness of being."
A google search of "the weight of things" turns up an amazing number of entries involving the gnashing of teeth and spilling of tears. For example, from a song by Maroon5:
The weight of things that remain unspoken.Thinking up the title of my book was the only painful part of writing it. It started off with a very peppy title: "Heading for the Good Life: A Route through Philosophy." After a while it started seeming absurd to hint that I actually possess the route to the good life, so I changed it to "Necessary Aims: The Puzzle of the Good Life." The good people at Blackwell thought this was not good in roughly 15 different ways. Approximately 1001 titles later, we arrived at the current title.
Built up so much it crushed us everyday....
Every night you cry yourself to sleep
Thinking "Why does this happen to me?
Why does every moment have to be so hard?
Oh well...enough of that. I really appreciate the review.