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bbook:

“The fiction I’m most interested in has lines of reference to the real world. None of my stories really happened, of course. But there’s always something, some element, something said to me or that I witnessed, that may be the starting place. Here’s an example: ‘That’s the last Christmas you’ll ever ruin for us!’ I was drunk when I heard that, but I remembered it. And later, much later, when I was sober, using only that one line and other things I imagined, imagined so accurately that they could have happened, I made a story—‘A Serious Talk.’ But the fiction I’m most interested in, whether it’s Tolstoy’s fiction, Chekhov, Barry Hannah, Richard Ford, Hemingway, Isaac Babel, Ann Beattie, or Anne Tyler, strikes me as autobiographical to some extent. At the very least it’s referential. Stories long or short don’t just come out of thin air. I’m reminded of a conversation involving John Cheever. We were sitting around a table in Iowa City with some people and he happened to remark that after a family fracas at his home one night, he got up the next morning and went into the bathroom to find something his daughter had written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror: ‘D-e-r-e daddy, don’t leave us.’ Someone at the table spoke up and said, ‘I recognize that from one of your stories.’ Cheever said, ‘Probably so. Everything I write is autobiographical.’ Now of course that’s not literally true. But everything we write is, in some way, autobiographical. I’m not in the least bothered by ‘autobiographical’ fiction. To the contrary. On the Road. Céline. Roth. Lawrence Durrell in The Alexandria Quartet. So much of Hemingway in the Nick Adams stories. Updike, too, you bet. Jim McConkey. Clark Blaise is a contemporary writer whose fiction is out-and-out autobiography. Of course, you have to know what you’re doing when you turn your life’s stories into fiction. You have to be immensely daring, very skilled and imaginative and willing to tell everything on yourself. You’re told time and again when you’re young to write about what you know, and what do you know better than your own secrets? But unless you’re a special kind of writer, and a very talented one, it’s dangerous to try and write volume after volume on The Story of My Life. A great danger, or at least a great temptation, for many writers is to become too autobiographical in their approach to their fiction. A little autobiography and a lot of imagination are best.”
—Raymond Carver, The Art of Fiction No. 76

bbook:

“The fiction I’m most interested in has lines of reference to the real world. None of my stories really happened, of course. But there’s always something, some element, something said to me or that I witnessed, that may be the starting place. Here’s an example: ‘That’s the last Christmas you’ll ever ruin for us!’ I was drunk when I heard that, but I remembered it. And later, much later, when I was sober, using only that one line and other things I imagined, imagined so accurately that they could have happened, I made a story—‘A Serious Talk.’ But the fiction I’m most interested in, whether it’s Tolstoy’s fiction, Chekhov, Barry Hannah, Richard Ford, Hemingway, Isaac Babel, Ann Beattie, or Anne Tyler, strikes me as autobiographical to some extent. At the very least it’s referential. Stories long or short don’t just come out of thin air. I’m reminded of a conversation involving John Cheever. We were sitting around a table in Iowa City with some people and he happened to remark that after a family fracas at his home one night, he got up the next morning and went into the bathroom to find something his daughter had written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror: ‘D-e-r-e daddy, don’t leave us.’ Someone at the table spoke up and said, ‘I recognize that from one of your stories.’ Cheever said, ‘Probably so. Everything I write is autobiographical.’ Now of course that’s not literally true. But everything we write is, in some way, autobiographical. I’m not in the least bothered by ‘autobiographical’ fiction. To the contrary. On the Road. Céline. Roth. Lawrence Durrell in The Alexandria Quartet. So much of Hemingway in the Nick Adams stories. Updike, too, you bet. Jim McConkey. Clark Blaise is a contemporary writer whose fiction is out-and-out autobiography. Of course, you have to know what you’re doing when you turn your life’s stories into fiction. You have to be immensely daring, very skilled and imaginative and willing to tell everything on yourself. You’re told time and again when you’re young to write about what you know, and what do you know better than your own secrets? But unless you’re a special kind of writer, and a very talented one, it’s dangerous to try and write volume after volume on The Story of My Life. A great danger, or at least a great temptation, for many writers is to become too autobiographical in their approach to their fiction. A little autobiography and a lot of imagination are best.”

Raymond Carver, The Art of Fiction No. 76

(Source: theparisreview)

bbook:

I saw America in pictures and movies, and it was sort of a utopian place compared to where I lived. All I ever wanted was getting there. American music was the opposite of everything I heard in my own country, and there was rhythm and fun—the notion of fun was completely strange to me. Everything I really liked was from this mythical place called America.

bbook:

I saw America in pictures and movies, and it was sort of a utopian place compared to where I lived. All I ever wanted was getting there. American music was the opposite of everything I heard in my own country, and there was rhythm and fun—the notion of fun was completely strange to me. Everything I really liked was from this mythical place called America.

A Painting Only You Can See

A viewer revisits a single painting over a decade: Caravaggio’s “Denial of St. Peter,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Thanks so much Ken!

Comment about your writing- Celestial Navigation

  • Oh, I guess it didn't say who I am.
  • This is Ken Cro-Ken.
  • Great work Catherine!!!

Comment about your writing- Celestial Navigation

  • Here I am in the city (Manhattan), and though I can't see any stars out tonight, I feel as though I have. Thanks for sharing a wonderful composition Catherine!

Celestial Navigation

Our stars transverse the heavens
And shine light,
Side to side.

It is not bright shining moons,
Nor incandescent windows,
And not the shimmering oases of a sere sun
That illuminate our shelf-laden selves
Inordinate.

It may be the polar lights,
The North Star as guidance
And the Southern Cross to inspire,
That rise and confirm, sight unseen,
We are somewhere, surely.

The stars that fall unheralded,
Destination unknown,
Possess the Mercurian,
The desire and potential we rarely summon
In our walk through days

Until a shooting star,
Far above and deeply beyond,
Tells us we are not strangers, after all.

Catherine McWeeney © 2012

Sea Turtle Nest

Sea Turtle Nest