The question of what propels creators, especially great creators, is the subject of eternal fascination and curiosity that is cultural. The curtain on one of the most celebrated and distinctive voices of American fiction and literary journalism to reveal what it is that has compelled her to spend half a century putting pen to paper in“Why I Write,“ originally published in the New York Times Book Review on December 5, 1976 and found in The Writer on Her Work, Volume 1 (public library), Joan Didion—whose indelible insight on self-respect is a must-read for all—peels.
Needless to say I stole the title because of this talk, from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was I write that I like the sound of the words: Why. There you’ve got three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this: I I I In many ways writing could be the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other individuals, of saying pay attention to me, see it my way, improve your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a act that is hostile. You can easily disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions —with the entire manner of intimating as opposed to claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there is no navigating around the fact setting words on paper could be the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition associated with the writer’s sensibility in the reader’s most private space. „„Setting words in some recoverable format could be the tactic of a bully that is secret“ and other selections from Why I Write“ weiterlesen