many opportunities for self-absorption, then I also feel it’s our strength. Through its bold curiosity about the self, its willingness to investigate perception, thought and feeling with a relentless intensity, American poetry in our century has evolved into a vibrant and diverse endeavor that’s among this last century’s brighter achievement. —Mark Doty, citied online at Modern American Poetry (http://mapslegacy.org/poets/a_f/doty/american.htm) It has become increasingly plain to me that the very excellent organisation of a long book or the finest perceptions and judgment in time of revision do not go well with liquor. A short story can be written on the bottle, but for a novel you need the mental speed that enables you to keep the whole pattern inside your head and ruthlessly sacrifice the sideshows … I would give anything if I hadn’t written Part III of Tender Is the Night entirely on stimulant. —F. Scott Fitzgerald, letter to Max Perkins, March 11, 1935, in F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Life in Letters, ed. Matthew Bruccoli (Simon & Schuster, 1994) Memory, I think, is a substitute for the tail that we lost for good in the happy process of evolution. It directs our movements, including migration. Apart from that there is clearly something atavistic in the very process of recollection, if only because such a process is never linear. —Joseph Brodsky, “Less Than One,” in Less Than One SelectedEssays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986) Someone said to Donne, the English satirist, “Thunder against the sins but spare the sinners.” “What,” he said. “damn the cards and pardon the card sharps?” —Chamfort, Products ofthe PerfectedCivilization, translated by W.S. Merwin, (North Point Press, 1984) Great writers are either husbands or lovers. Some writers supply the solid virtues of the husband: reliability, intelligibility, generosity, decency. There are other writers in whom one prizes the gifts of a lover, gifts of temperament rather than moral goodness. Notoriously, women tolerate qualities in a lover—moodiness, selfishness, unreliability, brutality—that they would never countenance in a husband, in return for excitement, an infusion of intense feeling. In the same way, readers put up with unintelligibility, obsessiveness, painful, truths, lies, bad grammar—if, in compensation, the writers allows them to savor rare emotions and Page 14 - Nine Mile Magazine

15 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication