Saturday, March 27, 2010

Debts

You are indebted at the very least to the following writers:

1. Mark Twain--who got you started thinking you could, too.
2. Louise Erdrich--who made even the smallest walk-on seem gifted and magical.
3. Daniel Woodrell----who knows how to elegantly frustrate his characters.
4. John Steinbeck--for first causing you to feel the goddamned Salinas River.
5. Jane Austen--who did not always say what she meant nor mean what she said.
6. Grace Metalious--who showed you how even soap opera could be compelling.
7. Graham Greene--who show you where to put the humor.
8. Digby Wolfe--who showed you how what you considered humor wasn't.
9. Bobbie Ann Mason--who showed you what POV really means.
10. F. Scott Fitzgerald--for showing you how to use lyricism in the midst of a story.
11. Richard Price--for showing you how to listen.
12. Sarah Orne Jewett--for explaining regionalism to you.
13. Rachel Maddux--for showing you where care begins.
14. Mazo de la Roche--for hooking you early on people who were completely foreign to you.
15. Dorothy B. Hughes--for luring you into the Mystery Writers of America
16. Vera Casperay--for showing you what happens when your narrator falls for a dame.
17. Day Keene--for showing you there was nothing wrong with a novel a month.
18. Louis L'Amour--for nudging you into better ways to begin.
19.Lawrence Lipton--for showing you what professionalism meant.
20. Hilary Mantel--for showing you how to find the new buried within the old, old.
21. Sol Stein--for urging you to never take the reader where the reader wants to go.
22. Adela Rogers St. John--for failing to embarrass you.
23. Geoffrey Chaucer--for The Pardoner and The Wife of Bath: Middle-Ages Noir.

Individually and in the aggregate, these and a handful of others led you to see that any success you could ever hope to achieve would come from you being more you, in fact entirely you, and not them.

Post a Comment