Monday, November 15, 2010

Agee & Lopez On Writing

Here are a couple quotes I found scribbled in one of my notebooks today. Interesting food for thought on a gray Monday afternoon while I'm working on my novel and struggling with all these literal, clunky words. (Sorry, I don't know what books I found these in. Maybe Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Arctic Dreams, respectively?)

James Agee:
Words cannot embody; they can only describe. But a certain kind of artist, whom we will distinguish from others as a poet rather than a prose writer, despises this fact about words or his medium, and continually brings words as near as he can to an illusion of embodiment.

Barry Lopez:
The mind can imagine beauty and conjure intimacy. It can find solace where literal analysis finds only trees and rocks and grass.

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