Monday, November 23, 2009

Being prolific;Raymond Carver-Stephen King

Tonight Duane Swierczynski on Secret Dead Blog quotes from a New Yorker series from the 1930s called Legends of The Underwood. The man profiled is Arthur J. Burk, a pulp magazine stalwart who said he wrote four thousand words a day but could do triple that if need be.

I've written a fair amount of fiction in thirty-some years but I was never fast. I've always done a thousand or fifteen hundred words a day. There were times I was doing two thousand but they never lasted. Writing tires me. And since I've been sick it saps me even more. Mornings are my best time and I enjoy my time at the machine.

But later on...

------------------Raymond Carver/Stephen King

I want to recommend a fine review Stephen King published in the NY Times yesterday about the new biography of Raymond Carver. King at his best.

Published: November 19, 2009
Raymond Carver, surely the most influential writer of American short stories in the second half of the 20th century, makes an early appearance in Carol Sklenicka’s exhaustive and sometimes exhausting biography as a 3- or 4-year-old on a leash. “Well, of course I had to keep him on a leash,” his mother, Ella Carver, said much later — and seemingly without irony.

"Mrs. Carver might have had the right idea. Like the perplexed lower-middle-class juicers who populate his stories, Carver never seemed to know where he was or why he was there. I was constantly reminded of a passage in Peter Straub’s “Ghost Story”: “The man just drove, distracted by this endless soap opera of America’s bottom dogs.”

"Born in Oregon in 1938, Carver soon moved with his family to Yakima, Wash. In 1956, the Car vers relocated to Chester, Calif. A year later, Carver and a couple of friends were carousing in Mexico. After that the moves accelerated: Paradise, Calif.; Chico, Calif.; Iowa City, Sacramento, Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Cupertino, Humboldt County . . . and that takes us up only to 1977, the year Carver took his last drink."

for the rest go here:


David Cranmer said...

Thanks for the link. And 1,000 to 1500 seems to be the norm among many writers.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was an outstanding review. He doesn't get enough credit for being a pretty smart guy.