John Gardner | On Becoming a Novelist | #20

john-gardner-on-becoming-a-novelist-cover
“It is the importance of this quality of generosity in fiction that requires a measure of childishness in the writer. People who have strong mental focus and a sense of purpose in their lives, people who have respect for all that grownups generally respect (earning a good living, the flag, the school system, those who are richer than oneself, those who are beloved and famous, such as movie stars), are unlikely ever to make it through the many revisions it takes to tell a story beautifully, without visible tricks, nor would they be able to tolerate the fame and fortune of those who tell stories stupidly, with hundreds of tricks, all of them old and boring to the discriminating mind. First, with his stubborn churlishness the good writer scoffs at what the grownups are praising, then, with his childish forgetfulness and indifference to what sensible people think, he goes back to his foolish pastime, the making of real art.” ― John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist

john-gardner-1933-1982
John Gardner (1933–1982) was born in Batavia, New York. His critically acclaimed books include the novels Grendel, The Sunlight Dialogues, and October Light, for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as several works of nonfiction and criticism . including . On Becoming a Novelist. He was also a professor of medieval literature and a pioneering creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson. When I worked at Bennington College in Southern VT I would often see him walking across the campus during the Summer Writing Workshops. Or when his white hair was flowing as he rode his beloved motorcycle on campus or away. – j.kiley

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.