By Harry Bruce
A witty round-up of writers' conduct that incorporates all of the colossal names, akin to Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Hemingway
At public occasions readers continuously ask writers how they write. the method fascinates them. Now they've got a really witty booklet that levels world wide and all through historical past to reply to their questions. the entire nice writers are the following — Dickens, rushing off his paintings; Henry James dictating it; Flaubert shouting each one be aware aloud within the backyard; Hemingway at paintings in cafés along with his pencil. yet pencil or pen, trusty typewriter or machine, all of them have their advocates. let alone the writers who can merely retain the phrases flowing by way of writing bare, or whereas strolling or hearing song — and customarily obeying the main weird and wonderful superstitions.
On Shakespeare’s works: “Fantastic. And it was once all performed with a feather!” — Sam Goldwyn
“I write nude, seated on a thick towel, and maybe with a moment towel round me.” — Paul West
“I’ve by no means heard of an individual getting plumber’s block, or site visitors cop’s block.” — Allan Gurganus
“I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” — Brendan Behan
From the Hardcover edition.
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Extra info for Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers
18 “I’m a Drinker With a Writing challenge” 19 the incorrect Stuff 20 jogging the stroll, and different Steps to production 21 Burning Kisses, Animal Magnetism 22 The day-by-day and Nightly Grind 23 “And How i am getting there's God’s Grace” 24 “We are just cell Wires” 25 What’s Worse Than Writing? no longer Writing 26 From the good French Hunter of “le Mot Juste”: le Mot Dernier Acknowledgments Bibliography [ creation ] at any time when the British actor, playwright, and novelist Stephen Fry solutions questions from an viewers, an individual asks, “Do you write in longhand or on a working laptop or computer? ” If longhand: “With pencil, ballpoint, or out of date ink pen? ” If computing device: “PC or Mac? Which font do you wish? ” All winning writers box such questions, Fry says, and for that reason be aware of this easy rule: “Readers are extra drawn to strategy than in product. ” yet procedure, that's what this booklet is all approximately, comprises not just instruments however the rooms within which writers paintings; the variety of hours, in every day or evening, that they imprison themselves in these rooms; and the variety of phrases, in every day or evening, that they’ve sworn to put in writing. It comprises the way in which they fight to meet the world’s loneliest calling whereas sitting down, status up, mendacity flat on their backs, or soaking in bathtubs; whereas donning pyjamas, “lucky” sweaters, favorite shirts, soiled denims, immaculate company fits, or no garments in any respect; and whereas surrounding themselves with reasonable statuettes, light photos, quirky adorns, and mawkish bric-a-brac. for plenty of writers, the method comprises dealing with temper problems, emotional turmoil, and suicidal urges. considering cigarettes, booze, narcotics, hallucinogens, and stimulants haven't simply ambushed literary construction yet fuelled it, they, too, are a part of the tale. And so are more healthy addictions: climbing, walking, workout, and hearing nice tune. certainly, strategy is every thing that artistic writers do to make themselves as receptive as they in all probability will be to what such a lot of of them see as dictation from a forever-unknowable resource. It hands them to beat their everlasting foe: writer’s block. via painful trial and mistake, the extra winning writers finally discover a approach that, usually, does paintings for them. they're reluctant ever to alter it. For a few, the very notion of exchanging their fountain pens with computers is preposterous. “Oh, i take advantage of a Mac, through the way,” Fry finds. “Times Roman, 14 element. Very conventional. ” and intensely coincidental. I, too, use instances Roman, 14 element, and may by no means swap to the other typeface. Harry Bruce [ONE] “Speaking to the Eyes”: Beginnings within the early 1840s, William Bacon Stevens, a tender historian and religious Christian in Savannah, Georgia, beheld with awe a manuscript approximately 1000 years previous. A ninth-century reproduction of Moralia in task, which Pope Gregory I wrote within the 6th century, it used to be the oldest of the exceptionally infrequent treasures that plantation and slave proprietor Alexander Augustus Smets saved one of the 5 thousand books within the library at his brick mansion within the urban.