Saturday, March 8, 2008

If Horses Were Wishes...

If writers were somehow enjoined or, to use the legal term, estoped from writing only what they knew from first-hand experience:

1. Memoirs would be terminally dull

2. Capt. Nemo would at best have gone six or seven feet under the sea but never twenty thousand leagues

3. Hillary would have not had nearly so much experience

4. I could write stories only involving male characters

5. Tarzan would ever have made it to Mars

6. Mark Twain would have had to pass on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

7. Herodotus would have lost about one third of his history because at least that much was told in an as-reported or as-told-to manner

8. Isadore Hochberg, who later became Edgar "Yip"Harburg, a major American lyricist/song writer, could not have managed to get himself over the rainbow, much less could he have described April in Paris

9. Hillary would have had to write It Takes a Village without a ghost writer

10. Shakespeare would have had to spike Julius Ceasar and Romeo and Juliet, and---

11. Tennyson would have been put in the Tower for Idylls of the King

12. Ayn Rand would not have been able to find out who John Gault was nor, in fact, would Barry Goldwater have been able to expound his conservative conscience because he was pretty much big-time capitalist

13. Star Trek would have been a no-no

14. Jean Auels could ot have written The Clan of the Cave Bear

George Orwell could not have done Animal farm or 1984

16. Jonathan Swift could not have rendered Gulliver

and the beat goes on, lah de dah de dah because this list of worthies (except for Hillary, but we'll get to that in a moment)had in abundant measure the ingredient of imagination at hand as a tool with which to create. Now it's Hillary's turn: she has not so much as imagination as desperation, an ingredient that sometimes triggers a form of imagination but which also runs the greater risk of ignoring consequences. When we want something so much, whether it be publication, fame, or power, we run the risk of losing the very part of ourself that contains the imagination needed to do the job well. When we risk ourself and our imagination for the sake of power, we introduce onto the pallet the tincture of defensiveness which undercuts all the other colors, rendering them dull and marginal.

Whoever it was who first came up with that misguided dictum of writing only from direct experience was neither a writer nor a friend to writers but rather a slave to the albatross of convention.


R.L. Bourges said...

May your imagination take you to all the places you most wish to visit
may you come back with strange and wonderful tales to tell
(but I really think Hillary could have found a better ghostwriter)

Simple Blog Writer said...


Unknown said...

I quite agree. My FF was meant to be a small stab at the, "Write what you know," tack. Being a huge Sci-fi/Fantasy fan, that advice kind of puts my preferred genre right out of commission. What's writing without a bit of hyperbole and the ability to explore the impossible and unlikely?

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

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