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."


Talia Reed said...

Love that Anne Sexton advice!

Unknown said...

Great Sexton quote!

I was recently reading about the clitoris phenomena in the 70's -- I guess it started with Freud (warped as he was!) He said that clitoral orgasm was immature and that after puberty women should have vaginal orgasms. Well then Kinsey did all of his studies and found that women could not climax vaginally -- the vaginal orgasm did not exist. And that belief held up through the 70's and most of the 80's, but now they are saying it's not correct and that vaginal orgasm IS possible, though not for every woman -- it depends on the person, nerves and how they send signals, where they are in relation to other organs, etc.

LOL. Sorry for the sex ed dump. Her book sounds good. I'll check it out.

Kate Evans said...

Hey, most women could just tell these researchers that there are about 10 different kinds of orgasms...but who's counting?! :)

Dustin Brookshire said...

I LOVE Sexton. It's a total crush.

Anonymous said...

I like that bit about Henry Miller. It's reassuring to me to know that other writers also grope around in a dark a bit before they know where they are going. Thanks for posting that.