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.

On Literary Pleasure – Paul Valéry

Le plaisir littéraire n’est pas d’exprimer sa pensée tant que de trouver ce qu’on n’attendait pas de soi.

Literary pleasure is not to express one’s thought as long as to find what was not expected of oneself.

– Paul Valéry, Cahiers (Poétique, 1917-1918)

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

Examine the figure of the female flâneuse in Virginia Woolf’s work, with particular focus on Mrs Dalloway. — rachelisinthewrongera

Introduction The term ‘flâneuse’ can be attributed to females who engage in flânerie: the act of observing the city whilst walking.[1] They know themselves to be one of the public, yet they are the binary opposite to the engaged pedestrian – they are a passive spectator.[2] Until the latter half of the nineteenth century, flânerie […]

via Examine the figure of the female flâneuse in Virginia Woolf’s work, with particular focus on Mrs Dalloway. — rachelisinthewrongera