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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Hemingway on Writing (129 comments)

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  •  Plimpton asked about journalism's influence (4+ / 0-)

    on Hemingway's mature style:

    Q: Would you suggest newspaper work for the young writer? How helpful was the training you had with the Kansas City Star?

    A: On the Star you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and could help him if he gets out of it in time. This is one of the dustiest clichés there is and I apologize for it. But when you ask someone old, tired questions you are apt to receive old, tired answers.

    Q: You once wrote in the Transatlantic Review that the only reason for writing journalism was to be well paid. You said: “And when you destroy the valuable things you have by writing about them, you want to get big money for it.” Do you think of writing as a type of self-destruction?

    A: I do not remember ever writing that. But it sounds silly and violent enough for me to have said it to avoid having to bite on the nail and make a sensible statement. I certainly do not think of writing as a type of self-destruction, though journalism, after a point has been reached, can be a daily self-destruction for a serious creative writer.

    Once you sift out the persona that Hemingway was so intent on projecting in public, you find that he had a great store of self-awareness and insight into writing.

    You said "When I am reading Hemingway, more than with any other author, I feel like writing." And, yes, that is an exceptional gift to share with your readers. I find reading Orwell's essays inspires me to write criticism. Hemingway's writing is (usually) richer, but Orwell had a way of taking large, fuzzy topics, and reducing them to clear simplicity.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:45:39 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Almost forgot (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, KenBee, RiveroftheWest, No Exit

      I published a tourist "news" tabloid in Mazatlan.

      Drank too much. Had a son. Ate a lot of shrimp.

      Under the influence.  No Regrets.

      •  Well, it might be time to write a second diary. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, RiveroftheWest, No Exit

        But perhaps I'm being pushy, and should just be flattered that more than half the comments you've written this year are in my diary.

        Thank you indeed for stopping by. It does seem to me that you have no luck of colorful things to write about.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:05:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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