What I’m reading: The Art of Fiction

I think all writers like to read about writing. I’m no exception. I’ve recently been caught by The Art of Fiction series in the Paris Review. It’s so great that I’m sure I’m just behind the times here. But if anyone out there hasn’t discovered it yet, I wanted to share.

It’s absolutely wonderful for writers, journalists and thinkers everyone.

Check out the interview with Gabriel Garcia Marquez here. It’s my favorite so far (will I finally get to reading 100 Years of Solitude?).

“Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry…Both are very hard work. Writing something is almost as hard as making a table. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. Both are full of tricks and techniques. Basically very little magic and a lot of hard work are involved. And as Proust, I think, said, it takes ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration.

2 thoughts on “What I’m reading: The Art of Fiction

  1. thank you so much Ms. Abby – I never would have seen this article without you – I learned so much.

    I love “100 Years of Solitude” and after reading the article I want to read it again – every 30+ years is probably not too often. So I went looking through all the book shelves – realized it was part of the great book give away several years ago. Back to the wonderful – world wide web and……. tada……….favorite quotes from…….tada….”100 Years of Solitude”.

    You will read this book in the next thirty years – I promise…..you have plenty of time. And in the mean time…….twelve quotes………tada……..lv m

    1. The best friend a person has is one who has just died.
    2. ‘‘She had fallen asleep without putting out the candle and had awakened surrounded by flames… Since then the grandmother carried her from town to town, putting her to bed for twenty cents in order to make value of the burned house. According to the girl’s calculations, she still had ten years of seventy men per night …. He felt the irresistible need to love her and protect her. At dawn, worn out by insomnia and fever, he made the calm decision to marry her in order to free her from the despotism of her grandmother and to enjoy all the nights of satisfaction that she would give the seventy men. But at 10 o’clock in the morning, the girl had left town…”
    3. The secret of a good old age is simply an honourable pact with solitude.
    4. To a neighbour woman who brought her a set of candles so that she could light up the picture of her lost lover with them, she said with an enigmatic security: “The only candle that will make him come is always lighted”
    5. “Her heart froze with terror as she connected her daughter’s evening baths with Mauricio Babilonia. She asked the mayor to station a guard in the backyard because she had the impression that hens were being stolen. That night the guard brought down Mauricio Babilonia as he was lifting up the tiles to get into the bathroom where Meme was waiting for him, naked and trembling with love … A bullet lodged in his spinal column reduced him to bed for the rest of his life. He died of old age in solitude, without a moan, without a protest, without a single moment of betrayal, tormented by memories that did not give him a moment’s peace, and ostracized as a chicken thief.”
    6. The anxiety of falling in love cannot find repose except in bed.
    7. “Aureliano thought without saying so that the evil was not in the world but in some hidden place in the mysterious heart of Petra … Intrigued by that enigma, he dug so deeply into her sentiments so that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her.”
    8. “Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of loving each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out old people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.”
    9. One minute of reconciliation is worth more than a whole life of friendship.
    10. “The body of the twins were placed in identical coffins, and then it could be seen that once more in death they had become as identical as they had been until adolescence … In the tumult of the last moment, the sad drunkards who carried them out of the house got the coffins mixed up and buried them in the wrong graves …”
    11. “He replaced the curtain and the canopy of the bed with new velvet … At six in the morning they came out naked from the bedroom, drained the pool and filled it with champagne. They jumped in en-masse, swimming like birds flying in the sky … He remained wrapped up in himself … The children had become tired and gone in a troupe to the bedroom, where they tore down the curtains to dry themselves, and in the disorder they broke the rock crystal mirror … an destroyed the canopy of the bed in the tumult of lying down. When Arcadio came from the bathroom he found them sleeping in a naked heap in the shipwrecked bedroom. Inflamed, not so much because of the damage as because of the disgust and pity that he felt for himself in the emptiness of the saturnalia, he armed himself with an ecclesiastical cat-o’nine-tails that he kept in the bottom of his trunk … He drove the children out of the house, howling like a mad man and whipping them without mercy as a person would not even have done to a pack of coyotes. He was done in, with an attack of asthma that lasted for several days and that gave him the look of a man on his deathbed.”
    12. “Gaston was a pilot … On weekends he would pick her up where she lived … They began to love each other at an altitude of fifteen hundred feet in the Sunday air of the moors, and they felt all the closer together as the beings on earth grew more and more minute … He wasn’t only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simple to make love in a field of violets.”

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