When i sit down to write i often dont know whether

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"When I sit down to write I often don't know whether it's a poem or a critical piece that's going to be produced", David Kennedy, "binary myths" (Andy Brown ed.), p.16. "the writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation", James Fenton "the London Magazine ... found itself embroiled in a quarrel which was to result in its editor, John Scott, being killed in a duel" - "The Function of Criticism", T. Eagleton, Verso, 1984, p.37 "My maxim would be for God's sake write about what you don't know! For how else will you bring your imagination into play? How else will you discover or explore anything?", Graham Swift in "The Agony and the Ego", ed. C. Boylan (Penguin). "Don't write about what you know - write about what you're interested in. Don't write about yourself - you aren't as interesting as you think", Tracy Chevalier, "Her FAQ" "The art really is in isolating yourself and letting as few things into your head as possible. To only admit those things into your head that come from a direction where no one else ever looks", W.G. Sebald, Pretext 7, 2003, p.22 "The more homogeneous a society is, the more writers it will produce, but the less good writers", W.G. Sebald, Pretext 7, 2003, p.22 86
o p.25 - "the urge to create ... must always be partly the need to escape everyday reality" o p.49 - "Most mature artists know that great general knowledge is more a hindrance than a help." From "The Tree", John Fowles, The Sumach Press, 1992. "an intelligent writing which ... can defend itself and knows when to speak and when to answer and when to be silent", Socrates, Phaedrus o "To my mind [workshops] represent the infantilisation of a perfectly serious subject and are mostly a waste of time" o "My own line is that the poem begins with inspiration and ends in publication, not just completion" From "The Times Higher", Don Paterson, June 30th, 2006, p.16 o (from Psychology Today, April 1987) - "Nancy Andreasen has tracked 30 students from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. 80% had mood disorders (30% is average amongst similar people who are non-writers). 43% had some degree of manic-depressive illness (10% is average). 2 committed suicide over the 15 years of the study", p.74 o "A great many writers find relating both painfully difficult and beside the point. The same qualities that make them writers - self-direction, independence, intelligence, skepticism, a love of solitude - also incline them in the direction of isolation, alienation and a carelessness about relating.", p.125 From "Living the Writer's Life", Eric Maisel Miscellaneous (back to top) America o "One could persuasively argue that in America the most influential theory of literature since World War II has been creative writing", RM Berry, "Theory, Creative Writing and the Impertinence of History", in "Colors of a Different House" (ed Bishop and Ostrom) NCTE (USA), 1994, p.57 o "A significant difference between the poetry culture of the United States and that of the United Kingdom is that work regarded as Other to the Mainstream, in the UK, never receives established prizes.",

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