(Nabbed this from The Relentless Reader, who has a really fun Facebook feed.)
(Nabbed this from The Relentless Reader, who has a really fun Facebook feed.)
“I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.”
(Sun In An Empty Room by Edward Hopper)
My boyfriend sent me this link with the comment that it would make a good post about the ethics of posthumous publishing when there’s no money involved.
As you may remember, I have a pretty strong gut reaction to unreleased works getting put out after an authors death without their consent, and I would actually compare some of the works that have been released to those nudie pics of Scarlett Johansson that got stolen off her phone– yeah, they were produced willingly, but for a very specific audience (or maybe intended for no one at all) and not to be considered part of their official career/canon. The reason for someone wanting to publish a writer’s unreleased work, whether it be money or genuine admiration or whatever, is irrelevant to me because it’s ultimately about taking away an author’s control over his/her own legacy.
That being said, it looks like there was intention to publish it (Salinger had apparently donated these stories with the expectation of them being published in 2060?)
So this was probably a pointless ramble. Sorry.
Yup. At Skreened.
Like looking at writers’ workspaces, I get such a thrill from hearing about writers’ routines. It’s fascinating and oddly inspiring and I get a cozy intimate glow from it.
My beluv’d Ray Bradbury:
“My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.
[…]I can work anywhere. I wrote in bedrooms and living rooms when I was growing up with my parents and my brother in a small house in Los Angeles. I worked on my typewriter in the living room, with the radio and my mother and dad and brother all talking at the same time.”
If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work of section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.
Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.”
And Hemingway (fun fact: it was Hemingway’s description of how he wrote that got me obsessed with the Paris Review Book Of Interviews series)
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”
And lastly, Maya Angelou’s (this one is so funny and charming):
“I write in the morning and then go home about midday and take a shower, because writing, as you know, is very hard work, so you have to do a double ablution. Then I go out and shop — I’m a serious cook — and pretend to be normal. I play sane — Good morning! Fine, thank you. And you? And I go home. I prepare dinner for myself and if I have houseguests, I do the candles and the pretty music and all that. Then after all the dishes are moved away I read what I wrote that morning. And more often than not if I’ve done nine pages I may be able to save two and a half or three. That’s the cruelest time you know, to really admit that it doesn’t work. And to blue pencil it. When I finish maybe fifty pages and read them — fifty acceptable pages — it’s not too bad. I’ve had the same editor since 1967. Many times he has said to me over the years or asked me, Why would you use a semicolon instead of a colon? And many times over the years I have said to him things like: I will never speak to you again. Forever. Goodbye. That is it. Thank you very much. And I leave. Then I read the piece and I think of his suggestions. I send him a telegram that says, OK, so you’re right. So what? Don’t ever mention this to me again. If you do, I will never speak to you again. About two years ago I was visiting him and his wife in the Hamptons. I was at the end of a dining room table with a sit-down dinner of about fourteen people. Way at the end I said to someone, I sent him telegrams over the years. From the other end of the table he said, And I’ve kept every one! Brute! But the editing, one’s own editing, before the editor sees it, is the most important.”
(thanks to Brainpickings for these, and title quote by Chuck Close.)
These are cute as heck– candle scents inspired by various famous authors (I mean, of course Edgar Allan Poe’s would smell like cardamom, absinthe, and sandalwood. Obvi.) I got the little travel Mark Twain one (tobacco flower and vanilla– TAKE A SECOND TO IMAGINE THAT SCENT), and it took us less than a week to burn through it because it was constantly lit. Swoon.
They have them at Town at Bloor St West and Brock– the best little stationary/gift shop in the city.
According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring
a farmer was ploughing
the whole pageantry
of the year was
the edge of the sea
sweating in the sun
the wings’ wax
off the coast
a splash quite unnoticed
William Carlos Williams.
(the painting is Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus by Brueghel)
Aaaand yet more proof that Steve Martin’s the best person.
(from Bookriot’s Celebrity “READ” Posters Of The 80s And 90s list)
“Undressing her was an act of recklessness, a kind of vandalism, like releasing a zoo full of animals, or blowing up a dam.”
“Not only would I never want to belong to any club that would have me for a member–if elected I would wear street shoes onto the squash court and set fire to the ballroom curtains.”
“The midnight disease is a kind of emotional insomnia; at ever conscious moment its victim—even if he or she writes at dawn, or in the middle of the afternoon—feels like a person lying in a sweltering bedroom, with the window thrown open, looking up at a sky filled with stars and airplanes, listening to the narrative of a rattling blind, an ambulance, a fly trapped in a Coke bottle, while all around him the neighbours soundly sleep.”
“[His coat] emitted an odor of bus station so desolate that just standing next to him you could feel you luck changing for the worse.”
This book is beautiful. I don’t want it to end– Chabon has a way with descriptions of mood that just staggers.
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon.
Um, hi. Yeah, it’s been a month… it started as “whoops, I didn’t have any time this week” and wound up as “THIS IS TOTALLY A DELIBERATE HIATUS I’M IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE I SWEAR.” I’ve been at my new job for two months on the dot, and I can’t believe how much has gone on in that time. I’ve finally now gotten to the point where I don’t have to pull 60+ hour work weeks, but for a while there I wasn’t reading AT ALL. Seriously, the only book I read in the last two months was Fortunately, The Milk, and that’s only because my boyfriend and I read it aloud to each other one night (cuuuuuute).
This weekend, I got away to a friend’s amazing country house, and I rediscovered reading. I brought a copy of Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (which I had been meaning to get around to for a couple of years) and devoured 200 pages of it in between board games and group meals. I came back feeling reset, and I’m so excited about the teetering stacks of books that I’ve let build up.
We’re back to daily, kids. See you here on the regular (and expect a review of Wonder Boys in a couple of days!)