In the David Handler books, the protagonist Stewart Hoag, who is an author himself, has a stock line to the effect of “I was reading [author], who I reread every few years to remind me of what good writing is.” The author mentioned changes from book to book, but the point remains – he is rereading because it’s beautiful. All of this has made me think about who, as a writer, I enjoy reading for the style, as opposed to the content.
I don’t like Cormac McCarthy’s stories, but I love his writing style. Same with Earnest Hemingway. I love the stories and the style of MFK Fisher and Marilynne Robinson. And last night, I finished rereading Raymond Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely and realized he is definitely in that camp, too.
It’s worth noting that I don’t write like any of these people – my voice is somewhere between Larry Brown and Rick Bragg, I think, but since they are both from within a couple of hundred miles of where I was formed, that makes some sense. Their stories resonate with me, but their phrasing is not particularly striking, although sometimes, Bragg will accidentally hit one out of the park.
I wish I could write like Chandler or Fisher, but in the end, I just write like me, and am constantly amazed that anybody at all bothers to read anything I have written, ever.
Stuff I wrote this week.
False Alarm: On this day, 7 years ago.
Lost words: Homogenization is coming for us.
Stuff I liked.
I’m assuming you have seen the photos from the Webb telescope, but damn, this Instagram account is amazing.
This Twitter account, filled with pictures of people selling mirrors and thus providing unintentional selfies, is hilarious.
I triumphed over Capitalism this week and avoided buying anything on Prime Day from Amazon. Did you buy anything you are excited about this week? If so, hit reply and tell me about it.