I returned recently to reading my favorite author. Here are my current thoughts on him after he died (12 years ago.)
Douglas Adams was a genius–
Writing a tribute to the man is a truly daunting challenge; I feel like the best way to honor him is to attempt to match his apparently effortless combination of wit and insight as though…
Well, only he could finish that sentence with the appropriately bizarre yet cogent analogy.
Instead of trying to beat him at his own game, I will offer what I excel at: arrogant uninvited criticism couched in a language that makes it just barely palatable to my victim. Yeah.
The man lacked courage. He spent years sunk in depression, and resisted becoming a novelist tooth and nail. He was a terrible procrastinator and wrote many of his books by pulling months-long all-nighters right up to the deadline.
I’m arrogant, but I won’t go so far as to speculate as to why he was so conflicted. And I’m charitable enough to admit he probably did the best he knew how. But imagine if he had really thrown himself fully into life, cast aside his salmon of doubt, and just gone for it?
Marvin the paranoid android stood on an uninhabited planet, alone for all of time, stuck in a funk, unwilling to let go and make the best of it.
Adams could tell that story so well because it was his own.
*Originally published https://zcomm.org/zblogs/my-tribute-to-douglas-adams-by-ira-woodward/, june 27, 2013*