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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Quote of the Day

Lawrence Clark Powell - "Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow."

'Write to be understood' - someday. So many authors of genius write before their audience catches up with them - Joyce and Beckett in modern (and post-modern) times. Limiting yourself to write for instant understanding can be exactly that: limiting. John Ashbery once said words to the effect that he wrote what he didn't already know - 'Why write what you already know?' was his point of view. Often I write and I didn't know until I read it what I already knew.

1 comment:

Jim Murdoch said...

I've never been able to get into the "write what you know" mindset. The whole point to writing is discovery for both the writer and the reader. It's why I keep going back to both. I may start off a piece of writing with an idea but as soon as I get that idea on the page it begins to develop and take on a life of its own. It doesn't mean I have no control over what I write but no control is absolute. I have been surprised quite a few times where my writing has ended up. Only rarely has it bothered me that I couldn’t say what I set out to. What happens then is that I find myself going back to the idea over and over again until I work it out my system. It's fun seeing what gets produced in the interim.