Monday, October 18, 2004

About Craft

There is no writer in the ULA-- not Bill, not Jack, not Hermitt, nor myself-- who is against craft. What we're against is turning craft into an obsession, into a replacement for theme, character, ideas, and emotion.

In the 90s the editor of a trendy NYC lit-journal familiar with my style asked me to write an essay about zeens. He then proceeded to rewrite it into the house NEW YORKER style he'd picked up, without having an understanding of what MY writing was about. What he produced was a mutilation, stilted and awkward, without verve and flow. The essay's internal rhythms and euphony had been destroyed.

I find that mediocrities (those so limited they had to be trained to be writers) cling hardest to their "craft," because it's all they have.

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