Monday, January 29, 2007
I haven't posted in a week because I'm too busy.
For a Saturday night, the café was well attended. I closed the event by reading a couple poems recently published at the Southern Cross Review (an "e-review of literature, education, science, current events and Anthroposophy") and four new poems written in the last two months (but have yet to be published--this is a shameless BIG HINT to poetry publishers who may be reading this post). After the reading I hung out with a few people and discussed poetry, reality, time and space, art and other such topics of interest until the staff of Malaprop's asked us to leave.
Later that night I wandered into the Joli Rogers for a brief appearance at the Asheville blogger gathering.
The True Home Open Mic podcast now reaches 15,000 subscribers.
how to listen or join the True Home Open Mic Podcast:
Subscribe to Asheville's coolest podcast, True Home Open Mic Podcast. It is easy to subscribe using Apple iTunes:
1) open Apple iTunes,
2) Click on Podcast Directory,
3) type "True Home Courtyard" in the Search iTunes Store window, and
4) click "subscribe."
[For non Apple iTunes users; copy this address into your podcast application: http://www.webpasties.com/podcast-8670-930.xml]
For those in the Asheville area, join crowd every Thursday at the Courtyard Galley hosted by Jarrett Leone. Signup starts at 8:30 PM and performances from 9pm-12.
As stated, the schedule is subject to change. However, Amy Grimm, of Warren Wilson College, just e-mailed me an updated schedule for the next two weeks.
I'll post something about last night's reading later today.
It's the birthday of J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien.... He was a professor of philology, the study of the derivation of languages, at Oxford... fluent in classical Greek and Latin, Old Norse, Old English, medieval Welsh and Anglo-Saxon, and an ancient form of German called Gothic, among other ancient European languages....
Many critics now consider Lord of the Rings to be one of the greatest fantasy novels ever written. But after the 12 years it took to write, Tolkien wasn't sure anyone would want to read The Lord of the Rings. He wrote, "My work has escaped from my control. I have produced a monster ... a complex, rather bitter and rather terrifying romance."
The book was moderately successful when the first volume came out in 1954, but it didn't become a huge best-seller until the 1960s when American college students fell in love with it.
J.R.R. Tolkien said, "Literature stops in 1100. After that it's only books."
--from today's The Writer's Almanac
At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then--and only then--it is handed to you. From the corner of your eye you see motion. Something moving through the air and headed your way. It is a parcel bound in ribbons and bows; it has two white wings. It flies directly at you; you can read your name on it. --Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Here is a fairly sober version of what happens in the small room between the writer and the work itself.
First you shape the vision of what the projected work of art will be.
It is a vision of the work, not of the world. It is a glowing thing, a blurred thing of beauty.
You know that if you proceed you will change things and learn things, that the form will grow under your hands and develop new and rich lights. But that change will not alter the vision or its deep structures; it will only enrich it. You know that, and you are right.
But you re wrong if you think that in the actual writing,... you are filling in the vision. You cannot fill in the vision. you cannot even bring the vision to light. You are wrong if you think that you can in any way take the vision and tame it to the page. The page is jealous and tyrannical; the page is made of time and matter; the page always wins. The vision is not so much destroyed, exactly, as it is, by the time you have finished, forgotten. It has been replaced by this changeling, this bastard, this opaque lightless chunky ruinous work.
Words lead to other words and down the garden path... You can fly--you can fly higher than you thought possible--but you can never get off the page. After every passage another passage follows, more sentences, more everything on drearily down.
And so you continue the work, and finish it.
the work is not the vision itself, certainly. It is not the vision filled in, as if it had been a coloring book. It is not the vision reproduced... It is rather a simulacrum and a replacement. It is a golem. You try--you try every time--to reproduce the vision, to let your light so shine before men. But you can only come along with your bushel and hide it.
--Annie Dillard, The Writing Life