Friday, July 24, 2009

Pace of Writing (Michelle)

Hey, it's okay. Got this one from The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, which will probably get a full post of its own one of these days. I have very mixed feelings about it. But not about this gem of wisdom:

To comfort friends discouraged by their writing pace, you could offer them this:

It takes years to write a book --- between two and ten years. Less is so rare as to be statistically insignificant. One American writer has written a dozen major books over six decades. He wrote one of those books, a perfect novel, in three months. He speaks of it, still, with awe, almost whispering. Who wants to offend the spirit that hands out such books?

Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks; he claimed he knocked if off in his spare time from a twelve-hour-a-day job performing manual labor. There are other examples from other continents and centuries, just as albinos, assassins, saints, big people, and little people show up from time to time in large populations. Out of a human population on earth of four and a half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a serious book in a year. Some people lift cars, too. Some people enter week-long sled-dog races, go over Niagara Falls in barrels, fly planes through the Arc de Triomphe. Some people feel no pain in childbirth. Some people eat cars. There is no call to take human extremes as norms.

(pp. 13-14)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (Michelle)

I've been getting a lot of delight lately out of a wonderful shoestring (ho ho ho) theater company known as the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. Here is their highly moving King Lear:

Basically, mainly, they're funny. Let us never lose sight of this basic fact.

But, they are also very witty, very well-informed parodies based closely on the actual texts they parody. The Socks are also a wonderful example of the truth that you don't need tons of fancy equipment to be witty, sly, wise . . . to be art. These socks would never have gotten out of their wellies (so to speak) if their creator (Kev Sutherland) hadn't had the confidence to start making campy, witty, well-rehearsed satires with the materials at hand.

Also, if you watch enough of the sublime Socks, you start to notice that they play off one another --- which is remarkable because as I understand it, they are played by one man. But I feel that he must be an extremely talented artist --- you can almost imagine him projecting his characters up his arms.

But mostly they're funny. Enjoy. I'm off to the beach. :)


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