I get The Writer's Almanac every day in an e-mail. I am sure many of you do, too. Nice way to start out the day: coffee and a poem.
Today, as always after the daily poem, which is very good, it has historical things that happened on this day usually pertaining to writing. Read the brief piece about Michael Chabon. The comments by him about writing are concisely perceptive. And it is things we all have mentioned here at one time or another.
The comments by him about writing are concisely perceptive.
Before I began reading the interesting article you provided for us I pondered over the above wording. I was struck by "concisely perceptive," it sounded neat, but not right. Why limit perception, after all. I'm sure you meant concise and perceptive, but I must be ever contrary.
I'm glad he chucked the idea about writing about lost temples and such, it sounded like such a hodge podge. A bit like a potpourri filled with fragrant petals and industrial wax; what to do with such a concoction? How brave of him to start fresh. No doubt he learned an ample amount from his previous 1500 pages.
Thank you for sharing, media in res. :)
It is amazing that he gave up modeling for GAP...what kind of a freak is he?;)
Last edited on Sun May 25th, 2008 03:23 am by Basso
Kind of like the cartoon character, Popeye, saying "I y'am what I y'am." The actor, John Goodman, once used that phrase for his bio in a show in NYC in Shakespeare n the Park in Central Park. That was all he wrote. I knew he had to be a good guy. Everyone else was touting all their experience or their love of pets and animals and he had that simply wonderful (I again use an adverb modifying an adjective) phrase. I'll never forget it.
I am glad you enjoyed the article. Sometimes I run into these little things I want to share. You should read the Marlon Brando one I posted previously.
You wrote about Michael Chabon " No doubt he learned an ample amount from his previous 1500 pages." The good writer or artists or scientist or engineer or chef knows when to abandon, rather than try to forcefully and wrongfully and artificially configure a project. And, yes, think how much he had learned!
I love new and interesting ways of using words, especially nowadays, being that everything under the sun seems to have been written about. So, my quibble was not with your use of adverbs modifying adjectives, a practice I am well aware of, but rather the adverb you used to modify said adjective. Of course, that doesn't mean you're wrong, only that you and I have differing views of what "perceptive" really means. If perception is a kind of awareness then can that awareness be concise? For me the answer is no, because I think concise and perceptive are at odds with one another. I may perceive something as succinct, but is perception so bound? Perception begins somewhere and then by its nature expands, or at least drifts to other locales. Perception is not exact, but rather a process of knowing, and so, to make it concise would seem to put it in a prison; which would in turn disallow a deepening of understanding.
Well, words can be turned on their heads and what fun it is, eh?
You make a good point. Maybe I should have written something like, "his ideas are concise and perceptive." That was my intention. I meant to say he wrote his perceptive ideas in a concise manner. Each word he used drove home his points.
So, maybe the adverb "concisely" was not as concise as as the adjective "concise!" Or maybe it was confusing.
If someone asked me "How did he write his perceptions?" I would have answered "Concisely."
Maybe I should have put in the headline "Novelist Michael Chabon on Writing: Briefly good." Sounds British! Sort of like "Jolly good."
So, language continues, as it always has, to go round and round and is squared and divided.