Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Into Our Own Experience

Edna O'Brien was working in a chemist's shop in Dublin when she discovered a slender volume called Introducing James Joyce: a selection of Joyce's prose,with an introduction by T.S. Eliot.

She later said: "I opened it to a section from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the Christmas dinner scene, with the blue flame over the Christmas pudding. Up to then, I had been writing rather fancifully, with a lot of adjectives. When I read that, I realized one thing: that I need go no further than my own interior, my own experience, for whatever I wanted to write. It was truly, without sounding like St. Paul, an utter revelation to me." (Writer's Almanac)

Into our own interiors, our own experience--this is where we must go to tell the stories we can tell and to write well.

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