Thursday, June 7, 2007

Seducing the Demon

I'm currently devouring Erica Jong's Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life, which I bought at Winston Smith, Auburn's very cool downtown used bookstore.
Here a few gems I've found so far:
An Icon's Retort
'"Let me kiss the hand that wrote Ulysses,' some abject fan once asked James Joyce. 'You don't know where else it's been,' Joyce countered."

Writing the Book
"Henry Miller used to say that he wrote fifty pages before he could hear the book's 'fetal heartbeat.'"

Sex and the 70's
"The early seventies was all about the clitoris. The clitoris was queen. It was impossible to escape the seventies without climbing over the clitoris. Apparently, for centuries men had been unable to find it. And women were pissed."

Advice from Anne Sexton
"Once, when I wrote to [Anne] about my terror of publishing a second book of poems, she answered: Don't dwell on the book's reception. The point is to get on with it--you have a life's work ahead of you--no point in dallying around waiting for approval. We all want it, I know, but the point is to reach out honestly--that's the whole point. I keep feeling that there isn't one poem being written by any of us--or a book or anything like that. The whole life of us writers, the whole product I guess I mean, is the one long poem--a community effort if you will. It's all the same poem. It doesn't belong to any one writer--it's God's poem perhaps. Or God's people's poem. You have the gift--and with it comes responsibility--you musn't neglect or be mean to that gift--you must let it do its work. It has more rights than the ego that wants approval."

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