Edmund White: ‘On the Pleasures and Pains of Writing’

INTERVIEWER

Can you discuss your work process? When do you sit down to write, and what do you do to warm up?

WHITE

Oh, it’s very tormented. I try to write in the morning, and I write in longhand, and I write in very beautiful notebooks [White displays a couple of hardbound notebooks filled with thick, hand-laid paper] and with very beautiful pens. I just write away, and then . . . This is a first go at it, and then I start crossing out, and it gets crazier and crazier, with inserts and so on. Finally, two or three years of this go by and then one day I call in a typist. I dictate the entire book to her or him. The typist is a sort of editor in that he or she will tell me what is really terrible and what’s good, or what’s inconsistent and doesn’t make sense. I get together a whole version this way and then I stew over it some more. Eventually my editor reads it, and then he tells me to change things, and it goes on like that. If I write a page a day, I’m lucky. But I write less. And months go by without my writing at all, and I get very crazy when I write! Sick, physically.

Edmund White, The Art of Fiction No. 105, as Interviewed by Jordan Elgrably in The Paris Review No. 108, Fall 1988.

#1956Club – a great French artist considers his life and work… — Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

Journals of Jean Cocteau – edited and introduced by Wallace Fowlie Today’s time travelling trip to 1956 sees me considering another great French artist – the most wonderful Jean Cocteau. I first encountered his works back in the mid-1980s, when friends dragged me off to a screening in London of two of his films, “Orphee” […]

#1956Club – a great French artist considers his life and work… — Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

Markus Kircher – Book Artist (Salzburg, Austria)

A love of books and a love of creating art have inspired Salzburg book artist Markus Kircher to bring together a major selection of his book art works currently on display in the glorious traditional framed window of the Raiffeisen Bank located at the corner of Alter Markt 8 and Residenzplatz in the centre of Salzburg’s Altstadt.

Drawing upon a selection of 50 hand-painted and collaged books that began as blank books found in such eclectic places as India, Thailand and the local flea markets of Salzburg – as well as many hand-bound books made by the artist himself – the collection represents a form of retrospective of 25 years of Markus’ work as a book artist.

Indeed, one of Markus’ personal favorites also on display is a Goa travel book that was created on his first half-year journey to India; a book that takes him back to his imagination and artistic reflections of his encounters and impressions of India.

Recently, Markus also completed a major book art masterwork known as THE FAT BOOK – a stunning 756 page collection of unique images hand painted over the course of 3 years into an enormous beautifully bound old leather ledger book that he came across by accident in a second hand store in Vienna.

While Markus’ inspirations for his book art images have come from far and wide, his love of New York and his own hometown of Salzburg have provided much artistic resonance in the various images he creates in his painting and collaging. Like all artists, it’s difficult to pin down the inspirations given by exact locations and vistas; it more about impressions and “new views of old known places”, as Markus explains.

As an art form, Markus continues to explore and push new boundaries in his love of book art and the types and forms of books that he makes use of to paint and collage in.

While his book art collection is currently on display in Salzburg’s Altstadt, images of THE FAT BOOK will also be published as a 100-page catalogue by Salzburg’s Artbook Verlag http://www.artbook.at/ in November 2018.

Having visited Markus’ Salzburg atelier on many occasions and viewed the progress of THE FAT BOOK to its final fruition, it is very exciting to anticipate the publication of images from THE FAT BOOK that will no doubt delight and impress lovers of book art not just in Salzburg, Austria but in many parts of the world where book art and book artists continue to pursue this most passionate form of creative endeavor.

Visit Markus’ website at: www.markuskircher.net

Interview and Story by Marcus D. Niski © 2018

Book Art Images as Created by Markus Kircher © 2018

Photography by Marcus D. Niski © 2018

Studio YSL — Stylish Heath

During our recent visit to Paris it was inspiring to see the notebooks of Da Vinci that held hundreds of sketches and ideas on his varying interest. His expertise encompassed anatomy, engineering, astronomy, mathematics, natural history, architecture and painting to name a few areas that made Da Vinci one of the most versatile geniuses. But, […]

Studio YSL — Stylish Heath

Keep Creating.

Keep creating.

There are no kingdoms to inherit.

No planet to be saved.

No prizes or trophies to be awarded.

Only the act of self-satisfaction.

Of self-application.

Knowing that you have done your best.

That at least you have tried, if sometimes in vain.

To do something.

Rather than nothing.

Marcus D. Niski, as taken from my writer’s notebook, 4 May 2020, [MN]

Art practice — Space in light

Some observations popping out when I was reading two books during the lockdown: Anatomie Artistique de l’Homme (1959) by Arnoult Moreaux and the Artist’s Handbook (1987) by Ray Smith. Two books which deeply modified the way I was seeing things around me, landscapes as well as people, bodies. And also, it gave another insight into […]

Art practice — Space in light

“…death and the photograph as memento mori…” — Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

It’s pretty obvious from my blog posts this year, and particularly my involvement in co-hosting with Lizzy the Fitzcarraldo Editions Fortnight, that I’m a huge fan of the publisher’s output. In fact, I credit their books with my rekindled love of the essay format as so many of their non-fiction works have taken that genre […]

“…death and the photograph as memento mori…” #indexcards #moyradavey @FitzcarraldoEds — Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings

Reading notes: ‘Ectoplasm: photography in the digital age’ by Geoffrey Batchen — Digital Image and Culture

Reading notes Cambridge dictionary: Ectoplasm = a substance that is believed to surround ghosts and other creatures that are connected with spiritual activities Oxford dictionary: Ectoplasm = a substance that is said to come from the body of somebody who is communicating with the spirit of a dead person, allowing the spirit to have a form […]

via Reading notes: ‘Ectoplasm: photography in the digital age’ by Geoffrey Batchen — Digital Image and Culture