Friday, September 2, 2011

Writers Are Hurt Into Being


This is the second excerpt from my Worldcon conversation with James Patrick Kelly.  In it, we discuss the origins of art in pain and for the first time I publicly talk about the event that drove me into becoming a writer.  It's been something like forty-five years, so it was about time.  But it was still extremely difficult for me.  More difficult, probably, than you, reading this, can realize.

The link to YouTube is here.

And on a lighter note . . .

Here's a quote (ellipsis mine) I recently found in an article in the New Yorker:

The collapse of the World Trade Center towers, nearly ten years ago, registered as minor earthquakes (with magnitudes of 2.2 and 2.4) on a seismometer locked in a former root celler . . . in Palisades, New York.  A blown-up seismogram of hte impacts from that morning now hangs on a wall of Thomas Lamont's onetime swimming pool, which has been converted into a kind of seismological museum, beneath the cafeteria at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Wow.  Doesn't that sound exactly like J. G. Ballard?  Another case of life imitating art.



Tom Lawrence said...

I found this incredibly moving and insightful. Thank you for posting it.

I know I do my best writing when in that emotionally raw receptive state that trauma can create, but I never put it together that it might have taken something like that to start. I'll have to think on this a while.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking so eloquently about the mercilessness of dementia to the one who draws that black queen and their survivors. My family endured early onset Alzheimer's in the early '90' horrific experience that I've never been able to write about. Perhaps it's time.

JJM said...

My mother was the kindest, wisest person I ever knew, and the best friend I shall ever have, and I saw her slipping away from me, day by day ... Wish I'd known about your father. On the other hand, at the time, I wouldn't have understood. Some things, if you haven't experienced them (or a very close analogue), you will never understand.