2019-04-28 07:25

Hayden Carruth, Reluctantly:

Everything in their upbringings and educations has trained them to seek the easy way, which is now the American way. Our lives are supposed to be “fun” and not much else. And for my young students the easy way is teaching; as quickly as they can they want to get their degrees and find niches in the academic world that will give them semimonthly paychecks in return for the least possible effort and discomfort. My friends, don’t do it. […] You believe your writing can be a separate part of your life, but it can’t. A writer’s writing occurs in the midst of, and by means of, all the materials of life, not just a selected few. And if your life is easy, your writing will be slack and purposeless. I’m generalizing, of course; but my main drift is sound and important. You need difficulty, you need necessity. And it isn’t a paradox that you can choose necessity, can actually create necessity, if you seek the right objectives; not the great metaphysical necessity, but your own personal necessity; and it will be no less inexorable because you have chosen it. Once you are in it, your writing will be in it too.


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❡ “Finished” in April JH Prynne: The White Stones (NYRB, 2016) Claire Wahmanholm: Night Vision (New Michigan Press, 2017) Claire Wahmanholm: Wilder (Milkweed Editions,