“Setting words written down is the tactic of a secret bully,” and other selections from Why I Write

“Setting words written down is the tactic of a secret bully,” and other selections from Why I Write

The question of what propels creators, especially great creators, could be the subject of eternal fascination and cultural curiosity. The curtain on one of the most celebrated and distinctive voices of American fiction and literary journalism to reveal what it is that has compelled her to spend half a century putting pen to paper in”Why I Write,” originally published in the New York Times Book Review on December 5, 1976 and found in The https://custom-writings.net Writer on Her Work, Volume 1 (public library), Joan Didion—whose indelible insight on self-respect is a must-read for all—peels.

Needless to say I stole the title with this talk, from George Orwell. One reason I stole it absolutely was that i love the sound associated with words: Why I Write. There you’ve got three short unambiguous words that share an audio, together with sound they share is it: I I I In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, replace your mind. It is an aggressive, even a act that is hostile. You are able to disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions —with the entire manner of intimating in place of claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no making your way around the reality that setting words in writing is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of this writer’s sensibility regarding the reader’s most private space.

She continues on to attest towards the character-forming need for living the questions and trusting that even the meaningless moments will soon add up to a person’s becoming:

I had trouble graduating from Berkeley, not because of this inability to manage ideas—I was majoring in English, and I could locate the house-and-garden imagery into the Portrait of a Lady along with the person that is next ‘imagery’ being by definition the sort of specific that got my attention—but simply because I experienced neglected to take a program in Milton. (more…)