«Setting words in some recoverable format could be the tactic of a secret bully,» as well as other selections from Why I Write

The question of what propels creators, especially great creators, is the subject of eternal fascination and cultural curiosity. The curtain on one of the most celebrated and distinctive voices of American fiction and literary journalism to reveal what it is that has compelled her to spend half a century putting pen to paper in»Why I Write,» originally published in the New York Times Book Review on December 5, 1976 and found in The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1 (public library), Joan Didion—whose indelible insight on self-respect is a must-read for all—peels.

Of course I stole the title because of this talk, from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have got three short unambiguous words that share a sound, additionally the sound they share is it: I I I In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying pay attention to me, see it my way, improve your mind. It is an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions —with the entire types of intimating in the place of claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no navigating around the truth that setting words in some recoverable format could be the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition associated with the writer’s sensibility in the reader’s most private space.

She continues on to attest into the character-forming need for living the questions and trusting that even the meaningless moments will add up to one’s becoming:

I experienced trouble graduating from Berkeley, not because of this inability to cope with ideas—I was majoring in English, and I could locate the house-and-garden imagery in The Portrait of a female as well as the person that is next ‘imagery’ being by definition the sort of specific that got my attention—but due to the fact I had neglected to take a course in Milton. Подробнее →