Oct. 7th, 2011

smw: A woman sits at a typewriter, pages flying, a plug in the back of her awesomely big-curly hair. (Default)
[personal profile] smw
I’ve just finished a book that I enjoyed, which always makes me mope. In an attempt to continue the experience a little longer I thought I would start a conversation here on one of the author’s topics.

Namely, in her Art Objects, a driving force of Jeanette Winterson's essays is the belief that prose needs to be intense, precise, poetic. In “A Work of My Own”, she has this to say:
A writer’s style is all she has and the price of the making of it is everything she has. To fit language to her hand she must command at her hand resources of body and mind, totality of self and the self of her that acts as a skein to carry the world in. She must be well read, she must be clever. She must be curious, she must be sharp. Whatever she can muster to her fingertips, let her, and her hands will begin to control the instrument she desires.

The ecstatic and emphatic nature of her persona makes a great place to begin talking, doesn’t it?

I’m curious: what do you derive from this? What does it make you think and feel? What concepts do you agree or disagree with? Obviously a paragraph pulled from a collection of essays only says so much, but this one is saying quite a bit despite that.

I’d like particularly to talk about whether style is as central as that. Can I presume that everyone here believes that prose should be beautiful, whether that beauty is got at through verbose or spare use of words? Do you believe that establishing a clear and genial relationship with the reader is foremost, or creating words and imagery that you as the author can love? & etc., of course. It puts hearts in my eyes when I say something and another person has an unexpected reply.


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