Sunday, November 11, 2007

Third Sunday Salon: 10am

Almost 10am and I am, afraid, still in my pyjamas. The Hodmandods get up very slowly on a Sunday and, since Hodmandod Major has made a visit home, there have been distractions. I am still reading this...

and am 82 pages in, and on chapter four entitled 'Metafiction, Deconstruction and Jazzing Around'. Here are a few highlights from my first page of notes:

The Value of Great Fiction
(i) entertains and distracts;
(ii) broadens knowledge;
(iii) helps us know what we believe, reinforces those qualitites that are noblest in us, and leads us to feel uneasy about our faults and limitations.

In order to write well you need to
(i) write what you read (it's important to do lots of reading);
(ii) blend genres;
(ii) maybe elevate 'trash' (comics, popular tales etc);
(iii) create a dream.

All writing begins as a mysterious dream in the head of the writer and by writing and endlessly revising a writer makes that dream available to the reader.

Good writing should, above all, tell the truth. Feelings should be expressed in concrete details - in the description, the dialogue and the recounting of action. For instance a good writer doesn't just describe a barn but describes how someone in a particular mood sees a barn.


Blogger wyndskald said...

Ishmael, I called. I concur heartily with thy sentiments on e-memberance.

I'm never quite certain what metafiction means. I suppose the blessed Joyce might know.

My snail word of the week is sinistral. First snow of the
winter here in the Northlands.Our helix sleep their sleppy sleeps
in cracks and crevices deep.

Sun Nov 11, 12:17:00 pm  
Anonymous Maxine said...

It's the third (SS), by the way.

Clare, I saw the previous post in my RSS reader (about today's anniversary) but when I came to your blog it had vanished. I'll just note here, though it is a bit off-topic for this post (apologies) that I am thinking of you on this day. My very best to you.

Sun Nov 11, 01:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Thanks Wyndskale - where exactly are you? Yes, I like sinistral - I think Sinistral snails are quite rare.

And Maxine - have altered the numbering - thanks. And have re-instated the post. Thank you very much for your thoughts. That is kind of you and much appreciated.

Sun Nov 11, 02:51:00 pm  
Anonymous frumiousb said...

I'll follow this with interest, as I have this book sitting in my to-read pile myself...

Sun Nov 11, 03:22:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

I confess that Gardner irritates me--his idea of "moral fiction," his inability to read much past the 19th century, his astonishingly limited understanding of language.

Then there's 'Profluence.'

A word I remember from Gardner.

A most useful word. For that word, I thank him.

Sun Nov 11, 04:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

I've heard a few people have those same problems with Gardner and I have heard he has some strange views about some things - but I have to say that so far I am loving this book. It's given me some confidence, I think. For the first time in my life I think I know what I'm doing (but maybe that's because I haven't started on my new novel yet). But I do think what he's said so far makes sense to me and helped me a lot.

Sun Nov 11, 05:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

And Frumious B: I recommend it highly!

Sun Nov 11, 05:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Jacob - in case you come back here - how do you post comments on your blog?

Sun Nov 11, 05:32:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

I too found it encouraging when I first read it. It was helpful at the time.

I soon found myself drawn in other directions in my own writing, and he came to seem both impossibly conservative and simplistic.

But his character as a teacher does come through. He never bullies you his opinions.

Sun Nov 11, 05:38:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

Re: comments

Following each post, there's a 'comment' box. It's tiny, but it's there. Click it and it will open just like this one.

Sun Nov 11, 05:46:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

... hmmm

it doesn't show. There's always something.

Yesterday, the Label Cloud disappeared. Clear skies in Label Land.

I messed around for more than an hour before I found the problem: "" around one of the tags.

I checked settings and everything is okay... I'll work on it.

Thanks for the alert.

Sun Nov 11, 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

Very strange... I had to go to "Post Options" for each one of the first dozen posts, click "alow" for comments.

How they got turned off, I have no idea.

No one with a tendency to procrastinate should NEIGHBOR NEIGHBOR, yonder nor sorghum stenches... create a blog!

... anyone remember those things? Laddle rat rotten hut? Neighbor neighbor shut ladle gulls stopper torque mitt strainers!

Sun Nov 11, 06:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Jacob, yes maybe he is simplistic in some ways - I think maybe that is why I like him! I can understand what he says, I think.

And yes, these blogs do seem to do strange things once in a while - it's as if some poltergeist steps onto the wires. Glad you've sorted it out now though!

Not quite sure about that last bit you've written. what's that about?

Sun Nov 11, 08:36:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

Okay, here's the Wikipedia scoop...

Aren't we having a fine intellectual Sunday Salon today!

Sun Nov 11, 09:12:00 pm  
Blogger Jacob Russell said...

To Listen, go here:

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut
Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch offer lodge dock florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry ladle cluck wetter putty ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.
Wan moaning, Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder inset, "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disk ladle basking tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! An yonder nor sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers!"
"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, an tickle ladle basking an stuttered oft. Honor wrote tutor cordage offer groin-murder, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut mitten anomalous woof. "Wail, wail, wail!" set disk wicket woof, "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut! Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"
"Armor goring tumor groin-murder's," reprisal ladle gull. "Grammar's seeking bet. Armor ticking arson burden barter an shirker cockles."
"O hoe! Heifer blessing woke," setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb shelf, "Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer groin-murder. Oil ketchup wetter letter, an den - O bore!"
Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court, an whinney retched a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner widow, an sore debtor pore oil worming worse lion inner bet. Inner flesh, disk abdominal woof lipped honor bet an at a rope. Den knee poled honor groin-murder's nut cup an gnat-gun, any curdled dope inner bet.
Inner ladle wile, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a raft attar cordage, an ranker dough belle. "Comb ink, sweat hard," setter wicket woof, disgracing is verse. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut entity bet rum an stud buyer groin-murder's bet.
"O Grammar!" crater ladle gull, "Wood bag icer gut! A nervous sausage bag ice!"
"Battered lucky chew whiff, doling," whiskered disk ratchet woof, wetter wicket small.
"O Grammar, water bag noise! A nervous sore suture anomolous prognosis!"
"Battered small your whiff," insert a woof, ants mouse worse waddling.
"O Grammar, water bag mousy gut! A nervous sore suture bag mouse!"
Daze worry on-forger-nut gulls lest warts. Oil offer sodden, thoroughing offer carvers an sprinkling otter bet, disk curl and bloat-thursday woof ceased pore Ladle Rat Rotten Hut an garbled erupt.
Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.

Sun Nov 11, 09:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

Thanks Jacob - not heard of this -very interesting. Reminds me a little of Russell Hoban's RIDLEY WALKER...although his words were not real words just phonetic renderings.

And yes, very intellectual. My head's hurting...

Sun Nov 11, 09:19:00 pm  

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