Friday, November 27, 2009

Tom Greene on Writer’s Envy

Here's a post that got caught in limbo while I was crossing the date line and watching the koi swim in circles at Singapore's Changi Airport. If I had to pick an airport to live in, this could be it.

Tom Greene writes about writer’s envy, and when it seems unnecessary, in connection with Rita Williams-Garcia and Tim Wynne-Jones being shortlisted for the National Book Award (US) and the Governor-General's Award (Canada) respectively. Excerpt:
I think as writers we have an obligation to embrace our better angels. We need to support one another, encourage aspiring writers, and give back whatever it is we may have learned that can help others.
Makes sense to me. There’s a popular myth of solitude associated with writing, but in fact writing is of and about the world—making sense of it, railing against it, raising the questions that won’t go away. And most writers I know can become social beings for limited periods of time, given the right circumstances. At Vermont College of Fine Arts, when a bunch of passionate and eloquent people regularly spend time in intense 10-day residencies conversing both together and in tandem, it’s sort of like a book that’s more than the sum of its pages. As Jane Kurtz might say, a place to tether my goat--or park my Uggs in January.

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