21 June 2010

The place of experience in writing

From Tobias Wolff's, IN PHARAOH'S ARMY: "I described myself as a writer to anyone who would listen since I was sixteen. . . The problem was, I began to see stories even where I shouldn't. . . I turned into a predator, and one of the things I became predatory about was experience. I fetishized it, collected it, kept strict inventory. It seem to me the radical source of authority in the writers whose company I wanted to join, in spite of their own coy deference to the ugly stepsisters honesty, knowledge, human sympathy, historical consciousness, and, ugliest of all, hard work."

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