A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "steal like an artist"
Feb 22, 2014
Jan 14, 2014
Dec 07, 2013
Nov 28, 2013
‘The true artist,’ Wilde wrote, ‘is known by what he annexes, and he annexes everything.’ One of the most naturally gifted intellects of the 19th century, Wilde nevertheless had the modesty to know that without a commitment to literature his genius would always be an adolescent. If Melville depended upon the Western epics to augment his adventure and provide the language-stimulus for his own literature, Wilde, like Emily Dickinson, seems to have needed no adventure at all, only reading. Many novice old-timers get ensnared in that fallacy, confusing their having had a full life with their ability to write a fully functional novel, while whippersnappers of every ilk spend a summer in the Orient because they believe that being in an interesting place will make them interesting people. Think of all those dippy authors’ bios which proudly declare that X has held dozens of jobs, from the esoteric (circus clown and train conductor) to the painfully quotidian (bartender and construction worker), as if having worked at peculiar and menial labor — or, worse, as if simply living in Brooklyn — ipso facto deems him a skilled writer. It does not.
Nov 04, 2013
Oct 21, 2013
Sep 15, 2013
Sep 02, 2013
I had studied Hemingway so closely and learned a lot, but I didn’t agree with his attitude about life, about himself. He took everything so seriously. Your style comes out of your attitude — what kind of a person you are, your personality, how you see things. Are you optimistic? Are you funny? Are you grim? What? This is all out of your attitude. And once I learned that then I had to find other writers to study and imitate.
— Elmore Leonard on getting out from under the influence of Hemingway
Sep 01, 2013
Aug 17, 2013
Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it’s a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It’s only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I’m bunking off from something.