Sunday, December 7, 2008
Bless Your Heart, Timothy Egan
Writing in today's NYTimes, Pulitzer Prize winner Timothy Egan (pictured), rails at all the non-writers who are getting big-check book contracts for producing crap and calling it literature (among them Barbara Bush's dog). It's a smashing read at www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/opinion/07egan.html?th&emc=th.
Among Mr. Egan's observations:
On Sarah Palin: "Anyone who abuses the English language on such a regular basis should not be paid to put words in print."
On great writers: "Ernest Hemingway said the most frightening thing he ever encountered was 'a blank sheet of paper'” and George Orwell called the act of writing a book “'a horrible, exhaustive struggle, like a long bout of painful illness.'”
Before Joe the Plumber writes a memoir, says Egan, he should read "Rick Reilly’s sports columns, Peggy Noonan’s speeches, or Jess Walter’s fiction. He should open Dostoevsky or Norman Maclean — for osmosis, if nothing else. He should study Frank McCourt on teaching or Annie Dillard on writing." Joe might want to read a little Timothy Egan, too.