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The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing

Mailer, Norman

Published by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 2003
ISBN 10: 0394536487 / ISBN 13: 9780394536484
/ Condition: Fine / Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details


Title: The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing

Publisher: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Description:

Fine/Fine unread copy protected by Archival Brodart cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001065

About this title:

Book ratings provided by Goodreads:
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Synopsis: ?Writing is spooky. There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each
morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words.?
In The Spooky Art, Norman Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it. Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of more than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer?s craft. Mailer explores, among other topics, the use of first person versus third person, the pressing need for discipline, the pitfalls of early success, and the dire matter of coping with bad reviews. While The Spooky Art offers a fascinating preview of what can lie in wait for the student and fledgling writer, the book also has a great deal to say to more advanced writers on the contrary demands of plot and character, the demon writer?s block, and the curious ins-and-outs of publishing. Throughout, Mailer ties in examples from his own career, and reflects on the works of his fellow writers, living and dead?Twain, Melville, Faulkner, Hemingway, Updike, Didion, Bellow, Styron, Beckett, and a host of others. In The Spooky Art, Mailer captures the unique untold suffering and exhilaration of the novelist?s daily life and, while plotting a clear path for other writers to follow, maintains reverence for the underlying mystery and power of the art.

Book Description: Norman Mailer in The Spooky Art

On the writer?s ambition:
People don?t become authors solely to benefit humanity. They?re in the same position as priests. Part of them wants to be good to others; the other side wants, one way or the other, to have some sort of acquaintance with power.

On crafting characters:
It is not easy to write in the first person about a man who?s stronger or braver than yourself. It?s too close to self-serving. All the same, you have to be able to do it. Because if every one of your characters is kept down to your level, you do not take on large subjects. You need people more heroic than yourself, more enterprising, less timid, sexier, more romantic, more tragic.
On experience:
A very young writer sits on a park bench with his girl. He kisses her. He?s seventeen. He?s never had such a kiss before.
Later that night, he tries to capture the event. He writes:
I love you, he said.
I love you, she said.

He stops, throws down his pen, and says, ?I?m a great writer!?
Sometimes, you have to wait.

On stamina:
Over the years, I?ve found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. A simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write.

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