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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Pro Se and Poe Try

What do I do when I have too much to write? I spend more time reading of course -- as though I need to exhaust myself reading, but oh there's just so much out there. I just finished Joyce Carol Oates' The Faith of a Writer (amazon link) and was duly impressed. I've never particuarily liked her writing although I appreciate her experimentation. I've found her prolific if not exactingly rigorous. But nevertheless, this is worth the read for its insights into the craft of building worlds with words. A quote offering a slightly new spin: "Yet is is perhaps not failure the writer loves, so much as the addictive nature of incompletion and risk."

That put aside, next comes a 1995 Derek Attridge book titled Poetic rhythm: an introduction [sic]. (The hardcover I have lacks the nice Bridget Riley adorning the paperback -- check out her painting if you don't know it. She's one one of the greats.) I'm so addicted to this stuff, dissecting, analyzing -- don't be fooled, treating literature with the eye of a surgeon does not diminish the creative imagination. Virginia Woolf spent hours with such dissections of stories she liked as a method to learn.

Finally I'm still working through Lisa Moore's Alligator and Andrew Steinmetz's Wardlife. (review by Carmine Starmino here).