Saturday, October 04, 2008

Some points on writing

Between listening to music, working on my novel, and checking the Internet now and then this evening (O. J. Simpson is guilty, says the New York Times--the e-mail arrived not ten minutes ago), I found this article by Steven Millhauser about writing. Specifically, he compares and contrasts the short story and the novel. Some points he makes:

What the short story lacks in grandeur, it makes up for in elegance and grace. The short story is like William Blake's grain of sand: it becomes bigger than itself; it becomes bigger than the novel; it becomes as big as the universe.

The novel is exhaustive but the world is inexhaustible. The novel is ponderous. The novel is always hungry and dissatisfied; it fears coming to an end because then the world will run away from it. "The novel wants things. It wants territory. It wants the whole world."

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Dreaming

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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych

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