A Slathering Of Awesome-Sauce

Got off the plane in NYC and caught the following kite in my e-mail:


Mr. Coates--

MOBY DICK, THE GREAT GATSBY and...KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT?  I could argue the point, but I'll just say thanks instead.

All the very best --

J.M. DeMatteis 

What else is there to say--except pass the catfish. 

It's funny because I was debating Kraven's Last Hunt, The Mutant Massacre and Wolverine v. Spider-Man. Kraven stuck with me for it being such a shocking story, and one that to a kid,  I just never expected to see. I mean the married Spider-Man, and then buried him alive??? 

The greatest thing about being a child are all those moments of "What the fuck??" I swear my life up until I was 25, could be summed up in the phrase "What the fuck??" Everything from, "Yo, what the fuck?? You see that big-ass gat?" (sixth grade in the parking lot of the 7-11 near Callaway elementary.) to "You hear that Rakim verse? What the fuck??" to "Dad, won't buy an air-conditioner. What the fuck?" and of course "They buried Spider-Man alive! Yo, what the fuck?"

Now I'm lucky enough to make a living flying around the country, burrowing through old books, eating at neighborhood spots, slouching in bars with hidden doors, invading bourgeois living rooms with tape-recorders and notepads. And all the way I am thinking,What the fuck? I think it's how I get back to childhood, to the feeling of total unknowing. I think it's how I recapture the feeling of unknowing, the magic of figuring it out, and then the wonder of starting again. 

It's straight hedonism, I think. Luck and hedonism.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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