Incidental Courage in the Crevices

I’ve taken someone’s advice and picked up David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary – what a potent little delight!  Immediately slid into place with Alain de Botton’s On Love and Macedonio Fernandez’ The Museum of Eterna’s Novel; Jesse Ball’s The Curfew and The Way Through Doors.  Also moved me back to Daniel Handler’s Adverbs and (so-far) wonderful Why We Broke Up.  In the process, feeling forever stunted as a “writer,” I cracked A. Alvarez’ The Writer’s Voice yesterday to these jewels:

“For freelance writers like myself who belong to an endangered species which, as long ago as 1949 Cyril Connolly was already calling ‘the last known herd in existence of that mysterious animal the man of letters,’ writing is less a compulsion than a misfortune, like a doomed love affair.  We write because we fell in love with language when we were young and impressionable, just as musicians fall in love with sound, and thereafter are doomed to explore this fatal attraction in as many ways as we can…fifty years of writing for a living have taught me that there is only one thing the four disciplines have in common: in order to write well you must first learn how to listen.  And that, in turn, is something writers have in common with their readers.  Reading well means opening your ears to the presence behind the words and knowing which notes are true and which are false.  It is as much an art as writing well and almost as hard to acquire.”

One thought on “Incidental Courage in the Crevices

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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