Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction
How we cite our quotes:
I intend very soon now - it's just a matter of days or weeks, I tell myself - to stand aside from about a hundred and fifty of the poems and let the first willing publisher who owns a pressed morning suit and a fairly clean pair of gray gloves bear them away, right off to his shady presses, where they'll very likely be constrained in a two-tone dust jacket, complete with a back flap featuring a few curiously damning remarks of endorsement, as solicited and acquired from those 'name' poets and writers who have no compunction about commenting in public on their fellow-artists' works (customarily reserving their more deeply quarter-hearted commendations for their friends, suspected inferiors, foreigners, fly-by-night oddities, and toilers in another field), then on to the Sunday literary sections, where, if there's room, if the critique of the big, new, definitive biography of Grover Cleveland doesn't run too long, they'll be tersely introduced to the poetry-loving public by one of the little band of regulars, moderate-salaried pedants, and income-supplementers who can be trusted to review new books of poetry not necessarily either wisely or passionately but tersely. (I don't think I'll strike quite this sour note again. But if I do, I'll try to be equally transparent about it.) ("Seymour" 1.9)
Buddy does indeed strike several sour notes in the course of these two stories. It's hard to believe he really is as happy as he claims when he's harboring all this anger. On the other hand, his ending might redeem him.
My inner, incessant elation, which I think I've rightly, if repeatedly, called happiness, is threatening, I'm aware, to turn this whole composition into a fool's soliloquy. ("Seymour" 1.10)
How does Buddy's happiness effect his narration?
Furthermore, though I am, as I've already conspicuously posted, a happy writer, I'll take my oath I'm not now and never have been a merry one; I've mercifully been allowed the usual professional quota of unmerry thoughts. ("Seymour" 1.15)
What is Buddy getting at here? What is the difference between being a happy writer and a merry one?