There’s a piece of writing advice that tritely insists that great pain makes for great writing. In reality, it often takes years to find the words for a painful event, and even then there is the nagging insufficiency of words and the threat of ego that comes with writing one’s own pain....more
Posts Tagged: friendship
TI say we are not together. I say that we are not together, but I see him everywhere. He spent a summer here, summers and summers ago, and I booked my ticket to get closer to him and I booked my ticket to get away from him.
Check out Deborah Treisman in lively conversation with Lara Vapnyar on the “miracle of a New York City adventure,” the bewitching, wish-granting power of Leonard Cohen’s songs, and Russian immigrants.
Vapnyar’s forthcoming novel, Still Here, explores Russian culture in the US, friendship, and eternal life on the Internet....more
A connection so fundamentally optional doesn’t provide the same ambivalence and tension you get with alcoholic parents, narcissistic spouses, or resentful bosses. If your friend abuses you or your trust, you can just walk away.
Slate’s Laura Miller explains why nobody writes memoirs about their friends, and then looks at two recent books that take up the challenge of doing so....more
All we knew was that Casper, with his genius IQ, his measured laugh, his wicked weltanschauung, was somebody really, really interesting to hang out with. A neighborhood kid like anybody else, only not like anybody else. One of us, only not one of us.
Well, one of things we have in common as writers is that we don’t work too much from personal experience. So, I feel like there’s a constant desire for readers to find parallels between one’s life and one’s work. And they do exist but I think in the case of people like us if we wanted that to be the conversation, they would be much more in the foreground.
At the Guardian, A.D. Miller wonders why writers struggle to describe the “bonds” of friendship in fiction. What he finds is that close friendships are often difficult to “rationalize” because they limit access to common literary tropes:
Friendship denies writers the shortcuts they enjoy in the portrayal of other ties.
The literary idea that friends’ lives represent unmade choices, roads not taken, is applicable across gender and genre. Naturally, however, it has a particular resonance for women, because so many of life’s choices have particular resonance for women. Whether in 2015 United States or in postwar, pre-feminist Italy, women still feel like they have to lean in the direction of either family or career, creative fulfillment or economic necessity.