Nothing But Respect

» When Writers Elicit My Deepest Writer's-Respect

Speaking of writers .. I want to mention this piece by Leslie Jamison titled » Does Recovery Kill Great Writing? (13 March 2018).

Does Recovery Kill Great Writing? asks Leslie Jamison (13 March 2018)

There are many things I could say here about this piece .. but notice that she hails from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

I have written about the legendary 'workshop' for writers there in Iowa.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

» Remarkably Consistent and Heartfelt Respect

I am always impressed whenever I read something by one of these writers from this school.

I was impressed with her piece .. and the things that she is able to put into words, and the way that she is able to put these things into words.

I was impressed even before I saw that she hailed from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

It does not happen very often, but I sometimes read things that cause my respect to rise to the surface.

This is not something that I try to do. It just happens on its own.

Basically, there are two primary things that I look at .. when this respect thing happens.

I fully open my writer's valve. I drop all filters. Then I look at:

  1. What is being said
  2. How it is being said

"What is it that they are putting into words," I want to know, "and how are they doing it."

"What is it about this writing that elicits and evokes this feeling of respect?"

It's actually a surprisingly intimate thing. (Ariana knows what I'm talking about.)

Whether I agree with what they write is not the thing that concerns me at this phrase. That is not the thing I am looking at.

I probably shouldnt write any more along these lines .. because I will start to sound like a nut-case.

But I caught myself wondering about their criteria for acceptance. How are they choosing their students? What criteria are they looking for?

I bet that it is close to impossible to get into this school.

There is scene in Califorication where Hank Moody is teaching a writing class at some university somewhere .. and he makes the statement that you cannot teach anybody to write.

This is an interesting statement .. for a number of reasons.

Anyway .. whatever criteria they are using there at the Iowa Writers' Workshop for choosing worthy students .. it is obviously working.

Much respect.

I wonder how fucked up these students are. You dont have to be fucked up to write well .. but it definitely helps.

» More Respect

As a point of contrast, this piece by Kevin Powers titled What Kept Me from Killing Myself (16 June 2018) .. I can feel my respect rise for this writer.

It says nothing about him being from the Iowa Writers' Workshop .. but I can feel that same respect thing rise up.

This is the Iraq war vet who wrote the Yellow Birds (2013) .. which was made into a movie (2018) with Jennifer Aniston.

Rex Reed says that it is hard to watch but well worth watching. The movie has been called a bleak look at the realities of war.

See .. he is not trying to make you feel good. He is not about the warm-n-fuzzy.

You can feel his ease with the words, and things that he is able to put into words. I feel for these war vets.

» A Product of the Distillery

Here is another impressive piece titled » War Without End by CJ Chivers (8 Aug 2018).

War Without End by CJ Chivers (8 Aug 2018)

He crams a lot of information into each sentence. He makes it look easy, but that's not easy to do. Much respect.

I call this kind of writing a "product of the distillery" .. where the writer distills down a lot of information into a comparatively small volume.

I dont think that you can really understand the operation of what I call the distillery unless you have actually done it yourself.

Beyond the writing, I was struck by the quality of the images in this piece. I am going to use this heading image on the page where I talk about war without end.

While I am in the mood to dispense with respect .. it would be negligent of me not to at least mention Nico and his book. A masterpiece?

Cherry by Nico Walker (Aug 2018)

The image here, which is the cover of his book .. this image requires 137 KB of information to draw this image. Most of my images this size are ~ one third the size. There is much fine detail here .. if you look closely.

His story reminds me of that quote by Nehru, who wrote, "All my major works have been written in prison .. I would recommend prison not only to aspiring writers but to aspiring politicians, too" [ page 74 For Writers Only, Sophy Burnham ]

» Stanley Tucci Plays a Writing Professor with a Dangerously Hot Student

Speaking of writers and schools where writers hone their craft, hone their skills, where they develop their skill-set .. have you seen this trailer for a new Stanley Tucci movie?

Stanley Tucci is one of those people who are cool without even trying to be.

Tucci Gang - SNL with Sam Rockwell (13 Jan 2018)

That is an interesting play on the traditional professor-student relationship roles. [ Emma Stone knows what I am talking about here. ]

I was struck by the number of layers that they were able to reference in that short trailer.

Stanley Tucci and Addison Timlin

[ I can't help but wonder what kind of thoughts might be going through the head of Stanley's character here. ]

These kinds of things can weave surprisingly complex webs in a few snaps of the fingers.

This is how real life works. The next thing you know .. you are wondering how you got here.

The title of this film is » Submission. And now this clever girl has him.

Some girls are very much into this kind of thing. It gets their juices going to call the shots and expect compliance. Ask me how I know.

Psycho-erotic.

The student says to him, "I was imaging you getting home and reading those really intimate pages and wondering if, you know ... "

Whenever you find yourself experiencing a crisis without equal on earth .. it always helps to have a Stanley Tucci movie handy.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 19, 2018 3:19 PM.

A Generation Comes and a Generation Goes was the previous entry in this blog.

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