Happy Friday, Time to stretch you brain power. Can you guess what novels these final thoughts came from? Answers here.
1. Wisdom, I said oh so glibly the other day when I was pontificating on Shelly's confusions, is knowing what you have to accept. In this not-quite-quiet darkness, while the diesel breaks its heart more and more faintly on the mountain grade, I lie wondering if I am man enough to be a bigger man than my grandfather.
2. Either way, everything will be fine. But if you have an opinion, please feel free to offer it to me through the gap in the door of the public restroom. Everyone else does.
3. "We could make an omelet," I suggested. "We?" She smiled, handling me the carton, picking up her suitcase, waiting for me to open the door wide and let her inside. "One thing you should know about me, Lyova. I don't cook."
Jacqueline Rose, Friday, September 17, 2010 writes
For some time now, David Grossman has been describing his writing as a means of survival, as a way of no longer feeling a victim in the "disaster zone" of the seemingly eternal conflict that is Israel-Palestine. At moments he has talked of the risk of dispassion, of being paralysed with fear and despair. With the publication of this extraordinary, impassioned novel, such purpose or hope acquires a new meaning and intensity. It now seems that the life to be saved by writing, even though the struggle may be doomed, could only be – perhaps always has been – the life of a child.
The New Yorker
George Packer, September 27, 2010 writes
At 2:40 a.m. on Sunday, August 13th, the doorbell rang at the Grossman house. Over the intercom, a voice said, “From the town major’s office.” Michal had left the outside light on, in case of such a visit. As Grossman went to the door, he told himself, That’s it, our life is over.
The New York Times
Colm Toibin, September 23, 2010 writes
In a note at the conclusion of his somber, haunting new novel, “To the End of the Land,” he explains that he began writing it in May 2003 — around the same time he wrote that introduction, six months before the end of his older son’s military service and a year and a half before his younger son, Uri, enlisted. “At the time,” he writes, “I had the feeling — or rather, a wish — that the book I was writing would protect him.”
Delia Lloyd, March 9, 2011 writes
1. It's about motherhood. This is first and foremost a book about being a parent -- and, perhaps even more specifically, being a mother.
Award winning Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has written novels, poetry, short stories and essays. She is beloved by general readers and by literary critics. Over forty books and thousands of articles have been published about her works. She is a favorite writer of Book Club Extraordinaire. We have read more of her works than any other writer beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), Cat’s Eye (1988), Wilderness Tips (1991), The Robber Bride (1993), Alias Grace (1996), The Blind Assassin (2000).
In her book, Negotiations with the Dead: A Writer on Writing, she includes story ideas and readings from a multitude of writers including Alice Munro and Henry James. Her essays reflect an interest in understanding what it means to write, what is the role of a writer: is it about art or money, and is it about the writer or the reader. She explores the idea of literature as construction and destruction by reviving previous texts to reclaim buried treasure. She writes, “All writers… must commit acts of larceny, or else of reclamation, depending on how you look at it. The dead may guard the treasure, but it’s useless treasure unless it can be brought back into the land of the living and allowed to enter time once more”(178).
Whether Atwood is pouring old wine into a new bottle or putting the flesh back on history’s skeleton, we will eagerly await her next offering.
Then the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all the skiff. - The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), author of The Sun Also Rises (1926), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), The Old Man and the Sea (1952) and numerous short stories is known for his straightforward and sparse writing style. He won The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style".
Hemingway believed creative writers make something that appears real not by describing and copying but rather drawing on their experiences to create something that never existed before. This creation must be artistically honest and give the illusion of real-life. Hemingway says it must come “from his head, from his heart, from all there is of him.” It must be in the limits of what could possibly happen. It must be convincing enough that the reader can, “ see the world clearly and see it whole.” The writer’s task is “to project the truth in such a way that it becomes a part of the experience of the person who reads it.”
Tips from Hemingway
· Write down observations of action so they become ingrained in the memory to be called upon when needed
· Write first draft in longhand
· Edit all items not absolutely necessary to tell the whole story
· Write a few 100 words a day
· Write slowly like laying one brick at a time
Hemingway on Writing Robert C. Hart p315-320
It's back, Friday's Final Words. Did you recognize any of these finishing thoughts? They are from books we have read for Book Club Extraordinaire. Dig deep and see if you can guess these brain teasers.
Give up? Find answers here.
Like many creative people I am fascinated with the process. For writers, it begins with what do you want to say and how do you want to say it. How do you begin and how do you end? Is it a struggle from the beginning to end to get the right words? Is it a sublime flowing of one idea after the other or is it chaos, a plunge into the darkness? Do you create a structured draft or is it more free flowing with lots of revisions? Or is it both?
Here is a thought from Ludwig Binswanger, a Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of existential psychology. He argued that creativity occurs when the mind departs from ordinary paths and that writers "realize themselves" in their texts through an extravagance akin to madness.
I not sure that I buy into the creative madness theory, what do you think?
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.