Thursday, October 07, 2004

Quote from a Quack

Gilbert Sorrentino:

"A writer discovers what he knows as he knows it, i.e., as he makes it. No artist writes in order to objectify an 'idea' already formed. It is the person or novel or story that quite precisely tells him what he didn't know he knew: he knows, that is, only in terms of his writing. This is, of course, simply another way of saying that literary composition is not the placing of a held idea into a waiting form."

Say what? What is this man talking about? Talking first and thinking afterward?

Funny, I always thought writing was the expression of an idea. (I gather ideas are rare commodities in the present literary sphere.)

Note in the quote that Sorrentino says "NO artist writes" to "objectify an 'idea.'" (He questions that there are ideas.) Sorrentino says that a writer knows "only" in terms of his writing. Really? This is believing the writer exists in ignorance like a drooling baby in its crib, gazing mindlessly at vague pink and blue baby shapes, then out of nowhere finds knowledge-- though not ideas. A solipsistic outlook!

The Sorrentino quote is a good explanation though for why contemporary American literature sucks.


Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid.

What Sorrentino is saying is so obvious that it is absurd to question it. He's saying that we discover the truth of things as we write about them. He's simply expressing the power of writing.

I don't get why that offends you.

Writing is a way of working out our ideas --- it's absurd to think that we have completely worked out, and thought through, our subject before we write about it. As we write, we discover.

Are you really as dense as your glib comment made you sound?

A writer need not "exist in ignorance" for Sorrentino's proposition to be true. A writer begins writing about a subject with a vague idea, an intuition, perhaps a set of ideas. But they are not clear -- he/she doesn't know where the vague intuitions will lead. You work these things out as you write.

Anonymous said...

Um, actually, jackass, Karl is quoting the Sorrentino quote in the same spirit as the infamous Rumsfeld quote about "known unknowns".

No offense against Sorrentino, but the quote Karl highlights is quite silly. Yes, Karl overanalyzes it, but the original still merits mockery.

Adam Hardin said...

Sorrentino has to say the simple idea in convoluted prose because if he were to say it simply, the reader would say "that is obvious, so obvious that you shouldn't have botherd to say it at all."

He sounds like he is smart, but he really isn't. His fiction is just above average.

King said...

Sorry, but Sorrentino's statement is flat-out wrong, well-phrased or not. Does anyone believe that Tolstoy didn't already hold his ideas about family, history, Russia, etc., before he began writing "War and Peace"? Isn't his novel an expression of ideas? Likewise for Dostoevsky's ideas in "Brothers"?

What is Sorrentino and his defenders talking about?

Yes, when one begins writing one stumbles upon nuances and amplifications to the thread of thought one is already following. What Sorrentino talks about is more on the order of automatic writing, a psychic stage routine where the psychic begins writing on a blank sheet of paper with a blank mind while in a trance. As we know, most psychics are con artists.

(I addressed this quote because a leading demi-puppet lit-blogger made it the crux of his argument against the ULA. It's nonsense.)

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting of [b]Viagra 50mg side effects[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=][b]Viagra 50mg side effects[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also [url=]Viagra Sales Market[/url] you can find on our sites.
Generic [url=]Viagra and Analogs[/url] is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b]viagra spot pub
cialis imperial levitra libidus viagra yohimbe
Viagra Does It Really Work
viagra stamina
Substitute To Viagra
viagra online shop
dangers of viagra mayo clinic
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.
[url=]Viagra Kamagra[/url]