One thing that renders me reluctant to begin writing about the "business" of writing and the teaching of writing is the sneaking suspicion that there are things I lack that "real writers" should have in order to teach.
Don Quixote most crucially, is about the eternal struggle between those who believe in the power of the imagination, versus those who believe that looking harsh reality straight in the face is the only true way to live a life.
V. S. Naipaul, in the winter of his long writing life, doesn't disguise his melancholy or his frailty. Still, his inquisitorial eye and his magic with a prose sentence have not abandoned him, nor the organ tones of his mesmerizing voice.
This week, as I started to anticipate Jersey Shore withdrawal, it occurred to me that the show isn't just great TV. It's some pretty great storytelling, and it holds some valuable lessons for literary folks like me.
I've come to believe that what makes the biography of a writer crackle and pop is knowing as many lies as truths -- the lies they told to others, the lies others told of them, and, most importantly, the lies they told themselves.
Hunting has a brutal side. Crippled birds not found. Blood trails and gut piles. Shooting accidents (my family has had its tragedies). It soon became clear to me as I wrote: tell the truth or stay home.