Wednesday, August 11, 2010


First, Costa Rica is awesome and the FLGs highly recommend it.

Second, somebody posted a linked to this picture in the comments.  Needless to say, it is awesome and FLG highly recommends it. (Incidentally, FLG also learned during his hiatus that there is a Pirate Magazine.)

Lastly, Hilarious Bookbinder offers a post about writing with a quotation from Hemingway that FLG will post in its entirety:

Everybody loses all the bloom--we're not peaches--that doesn't mean you get rotten--a gun is better worn and with bloom off--So is a saddle--People too by God. You lose everything that is fresh and everything that is easy and it always seems as though you never could write--But you have more metier and you know more and when you get flashes of the old juice you get more results with them.

Look at how it is at the start--all juice and kick to the writer and cant convey anything to the reader--you use up the juice and the kick goes but you learn how to do it and the stuff when you are no longer young is better than the young stuff--

You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless--there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.

Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 13 September 1929

HB then comments:
I can say things with precision and construct arguments more complex and sophisticated. The bloom is gone, but lasting success is the metier and not the bloom (to use Hemingway's terms)--even though almost everyone thinks it's the opposite.

FLG wondered who is correct.  To him, both seem to be.  There's a craft to writing.  And there's the creative process.  For the purposes of illustration, let's considered it like woodworking.  You've got raw material, your vision, and your ability to fashion the first into the latter. 

What FLG thinks Hemingway is saying is akin to when you begin you have vision, but perhaps are bad at selecting the raw material and fashioning.  As you get older, you have a keener eye toward picking good pieces of lumber and also at working it.  However, FLG fears that you also begin to get set in your ways.  So, maybe you get better and better at picking good pieces for and at fashioning candlesticks.  Perhaps this knowledge and skill is applicable toward also making bowls and ashtrays.  On the other hand, perhaps you're ability to make jewelry boxes and lifelike sculptures has degraded. You always think in round and smooth shapes.  You're thought process is conditioned toward those.

If you narrow your focus to writing academic papers, for instance, then perhaps you do get better.  Actually, you almost certainly do hone that skill, but FLG fears it hurts the ability to write fiction, let's say.   Not to say that an academic can't write fiction, but to return to the metaphor above, it could be like somebody who makes round, smooth wooden objects making a round, smooth jewelry box when the Platonic ideal is rectangular.


The Maximum Leader said...

I don't see umbrellas in those drinks!

FLG said...

Don't get me started.

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