Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stephen Fry on Language

Not the best "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" sketch, but pertinent. I think you'll enjoy. I used to stay up late and sneak downstairs to watch this, Millenium, and Politically Incorrect. That is what Sarah was like as a child.Watch.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

youtube yo!

watch this video yo!

Friday, August 04, 2006

stephen dixon interview

at failbetter. actual interview here.

this is my favorite part:

"Maybe I should elaborate, though often my elaborations end up as complications. But here goes. To show the range of my methods, I'll give examples. in the low 90's in June, in New York City, I finished a novel and started another. I'd write a first draft of each chapter in one day, though some took two days. I did about 30 of them in a month and a half. The thirtieth, we'll say, wouldn't content itself as a short chapter and became a short novel, Abortions, which I wrote the first draft of and then the final one. I sent it to Henry Holt and Co., who'd published Interstate and The Stories of Stephen Dixon, and they took it. Then, because I can be perverse in my methodology in this way, I started writing the final draft of the 29 other first-draft chapters, we'll say, and called the novel 30. But I started writing the novel in the opposite chronological order I'd written the first drafts in. No. 29 became chapter one, "Shortcut." 28 became [chapter] two, "Popovers." You get the picture. Working backwards, I came to 15, or so, and that started growing too, like Abortions, and became another short novel, Evangeline. Since the character in all of these was named Gould, I decided to send Holt Evangeline, bridge the two books with the title Gould, and add a subtitle: "A Novel in Two Novels." Holt liked the idea and published the book. Meanwhile, I was working my way back till I came to the final chapter (first draft), which became the final final-draft chapter. But I wasn't finished yet. I then wrote the final draft of the second part of 30, finished it in final-draft form, and wrote the first draft of the second chapter in the second part of 30, which was going to be called—this second part—Ends. So you see that I used two different methods, if not more, in writing 30: lots of first drafts at first and then writing the final drafts all in a row; and with Ends, first and then final draft of each chapter before I went on to the second. 30 became an enormous novel and is as good a work as I've ever done."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good-ing and what-not...

So I had every intention of doing this essay thing, as well as all the finalizing of poetry stuff for the final showdown...but this house-sitting gig is taking up more of my time then I would have liked.

Ultimately I feel like the Gudding essay fails. I still feel like it reads more like a book report "this is what this person thinks and this is what that person thinks." Can't really disagree with the thesis that most of the poets from the 60's became more personal in their approach to poetry (with the exception perhaps of the Pacific Northwest Set...and even they pulled away some from nature and narrative). Also can't really disagree with the fact that a lot of poets have/do believe that there is some sort of "otherness" speaking through them.

However that has never been something that I have felt.

And while I do think that poetry continues to be personal, I also think that there has been a recent push towards skill, theory, and language. It's not enough to speak of your own experience. It must be interesting in terms of language and approach as well.

This is basically my thesis.
And my own personal approach in writing. I feel like we speak towards a common experience by speaking of personal experience. That as poets we must write in an interesting way in order to be successful, in order to have people want to read it, and to be able to feel the experience as concordant with their own.

I believe that often times we read poetry, and personal experience less because we want to see what other people's lives are like, than we actually want to see that their lives and experiences are like our own. That we are, in fact, not alone. That we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. (I mean this as my experience, and why I like to read poetry...and while I could never say for certain for other people, I still believe this is true for other people whether they recognize it or not).

I have written this without the aid of my notes so this may be general, and some of my assertions about Gudding's essay may be off. But it still expresses what I think.

That's all folks. Time to go run some stairs and punch a big red cushion.