I think I’ll forgo Office Hours this week - we’ve got a spirited discussion of “CommComm” going on behind the paywall and I’m trying to focus my energy over there, hoping to answer as many of your questions as I can, in real-time, approximately, in the Comments.
It’s interesting - working in that way has been the closest thing yet to being in an actual classroom with working writers. Thanks, all of you who are participating, for your positive energy and great questions.
Moving forward, those of you who are free subscribers may find yourself receiving fewer of these Thursday posts, as I try to get back to writing. But please do join us behind the paywall, if you’re so inclined.
For now, and since we’ve been talking about the nuts-and-bolts of how a work of fiction gets written, let me leave you with this really interesting piece by Italo Calvino, kindly forwarded by one of our members. In it, he writes about how Invisible Cities came to be written, and he does so with amazing precision and frankness, seeming to reinforce our working theory here, that looking at work in this way does nothing, and can do nothing, to divest a work of literature of its power and its mystery.
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For any free subscribers reading here I want to assure you as a fellow lover of literature that the value of that paid subscription to Story Club is worth so much more than that itty bitty monthly payment! It's MFA-level wisdom in real time under the guidance of a master of the craft of writing, and your classmates there are some of the kindest well-read folks in the internet.
Story Club is a soothing, reassuring oasis in these times for those of us who want to write and understand stories better.
*This comment is my own and George might even be cringing at it but I don't want you to miss out if you're just here lurking because you think you need to be, do, or have anything more than a love for stories to join in. Come on over! I sure am glad that I checked it out that first month. Now I look forward to the posts, discussions, and camaraderie!
Thank so much for our lecture about Italo Calvino. I have admired his writing for so long and did not know some of the facts. Invisible Cities all bear woman’s names. I read his mother was one of his most influential person in his early life and convinced him to fight against the Germans during World War II. Someone called him ''The Squirrel of the Pen’’. MY FAVORITE BOOK IS ITALIAN FOLKTALES that I continue to find new things for over many years. In the introduction- under “criteria of my writing” he wrote “I began doing what came most natural to me-that is following the memory of the things I had loved best in boyhood instead of making myself write the novel that was expected to write”. My favorite tuscan Proverb in FOLKTALES is “The tale is not beautiful if nothing is added to it-in other words its value consists of what is woven and rewoven in to it.” Perfect timing for me as I struggle to edit and slash some of my essays I wrote during the
pandemic. Carry on writers -