Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The Delicacy of Things

I'm reading my second biography of Ernest Hemingway. After visiting his home in Key West, I developed my usual author obsesssion but this one has surprised me with its intensity. After reading "Running With the Bulls", I've moved on to "Papa Hemingway" by Hotchner. Hemingway once said that he learned as much from painters about how to write as from writers.

(For all the gardeners that think I am grossly abusing my "garden" slot, I will blog later for "Bloomday".
Below are the pale mauve flowers of the Duranta plant.)

His characteristic 'bare as bones' style meant no generalizations or wishy washy adjectives. Just the distilling of emotion.
I think in all art forms we try to achieve this state of distillation; a concentration of reality.

This common yellow flower grows on a small shrubby trees with pinnated leaves. Occasionally the camera throws up something that you don't see with the naked eye. But you do when you look again.
This is what I would like my writing to do.
It is what Carnival does to a nation every year and it is what all good art should do. Artistic surroundings should present these mini-distillations everywhere and make the world clearer. The world may appear to be more ugly or more beautiful, but certainly the reality is conveyed with clarity.
Am I disciplined enough to stand; writing, working, and reworking, each sentence? Hemingway rose every morning and stood at his specially made pulpit-type desk to write. He sat to pay bills but always stood to write.

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