“I don’t want to disappear. That’s what writing fights against. That, and all the world’s mendacity, all the world’s vulgarity. The best response to despair is a true story, however tangled.” – Barry Siegel, “Private Lives” for the Los Angeles Times
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Siegel’s thoughts from this article struck me as profound. I’ve been doing a lot more reading about writing than actual writing lately, but I’m hoping all of the wisdom I’m storing up will prove useful in a very short time. Meanwhile, some favorite links to keep you reading elsewhere:
A response to “The Anxiety of Authenticity”, from my favorite southern mag.
“Writing is an act of extraordinary hubris, born of desperation. It is, without question, the only way I know how to make sense of anything, and I guard it with fervency and a not-insignificant amount of fear. Writing allows me to not only delineate and contain certain mysteries, but to internalize and re-create them, to make them my own. I write with the pie-eyed hope that someone will then take my words and make them theirs, and that we will help each other feel less alone.
“Writing stories, like living, requires making choices; sometimes that means finding and featuring the smaller story within the big one, and sometimes the smaller story becomes the big one. Always, something is lost. But at its best, writing can function as a kind of magical transduction: it can convert one form of energy to another form of energy.”
Hemingway calls out the wordy fakers in this excerpt from a 1954 speech.
Kelsey gets it right every time.
And in non-digital format, try your hardest to get your hands on a copy of “The Flaw”, an essay written by M.F.K. Fisher in 1939 as a part of her collection The Gastronomical Me. It is slaying.