Thursday, 30 August 2012

Annie Dillard's website

Annie's Dillard's Summer 1936
I remember reading Annie Dillard's The Writing Life a long time ago"The new place interests you because it is not clear. You attend." She's a master craftsperson. Each sentence is a perfect object. Not surprising that she is also a painter. I remember being impatient with the book. I wanted practical advice. It felt overwrought to me. It felt like it broke its own "rules." But I go back to it now and admire each of her carefully wrought sentences. It rings true.

She writes about the disappointment inherent in writing. She quotes Thoreau: "The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them." And Henry James: "Which is the work in which he hasn't surrendered, under dire difficulty, the best thing he meant to keep?"

Searching the web for something the other day, I came upon her strangely refreshing website. Crotchety, private, and scolding, about The Writing Life she says, "The Writing Life" (1989) is an embarrassing nonfiction narrative fixed somewhat and republished by Harper Perennial 1998

No comments:

Post a Comment