Moving to the subject of writing this week (with one small exception—see below).
I received a rejection for the sequel to The Last Resort so cringe-worthy, I have to share it.
Here’s the part right after the editor says a lot of woman might enjoy this book but, alas, she is not one of them:
“I was struck by that letter from Eudora Welty quoted in the memoir and wished that Watkins had listened to her words about self- indulgence.”
I wanted to dig a hole and crawl in.
On a happier note, I spent most of last week at the Key West Literary Festival. The theme was Writers on Writers. We heard Geoff Dyer on D.H. Lawrence, Pico Iyer on Graham Greene, Jay Parini on Leo Tolstoy, James Atlas on Saul Bellow, and (my favorite) Colm Toibin on Henry James.
Nothing revives a flagging writer’s spirits like listening to brilliant and witty writers talk about what they do.
One quote from Geoff Dyer: Graduate school, where we forget how to write and learn to loathe reading.
Another: Writing is a form of self-examination (See? not self-indulgence)
Colm Toibin: Your only duty is to your next sentence. And then the next. Stop thinking. The page is blank and it is your job to fill it. Forget yourself. Suppress yourself. There will be chocolate later.
Back to race:
On the last day a man in the audience stood and wondered why the presenters were so predominately male and, except for Pico, Caucasian: white men talking about dead white men?