Monday, June 15, 2009

Self-Deprecation + Blogging?

I've convinced a few people I know to take a look at this book blog of mine, and some short stories I've written, and "self-deprecation" came up more than once. I apparently think more meanly of my (slender?) skills in fiction writing than do my friends and family... not that I don't value their opinions.... That said, I won't be posting my prose here in the foreseeable future.

Self-deprecation can be tolerable if drenched in irony - and through this exercise, I've (again) discovered that conversely, if coming from a place of true uncertainly, self-deprecation can be uncomfortable( and ANNOYING!) to endure.

There is, unfortunately, little affliction of false modesty when I say I'm daunted by (and in awe of) the work and my readings of great novelists. I don't write these things with any latent assurance that I may one day accomplish that which now seems so beyond what I know of my talents. Perhaps this has been my learning to keep these doubts to myself.

I will have been blogging here for four months by late June and am still grappling with and groping for the right tone. The issue is, as things now stand, I have no other outlet to express or exorcise my thoughts, feelings, fears, and opinions about the things I read and write.

This passage from Nabokov's "Good Readers and Good Writers" (Lectures on Literature) better articulates one aspect of my fear of insipidity (it has many facets):
Time and space, the colors of the seasons, the movements of muscles and minds, all these are for writers of genius (as far as we can guess and I trust we guess right) not traditional notions which may be borrowed from the circulating library of public truths but a series of unique surprises which master artists have learned to express in their own unique way. To minor authors is left the ornamentation of the commonplace: these do not bother about any reinventing of the world; they merely try to squeeze the best they can out of a given order of things, out of traditional patterns of fiction. The various combinations these minor authors are able to produce within these set limits may be quite amusing in a mild ephemeral way because minor readers like to recognize their own ideas in a pleasing disguise. But the real writer, the fellow who sends planets spinning and models a man asleep and eagerly tampers with the sleeper’s rib, that kind of author has no given values at his disposal: he must create them himself. The art of writing is a very futile business if it does not imply first of all the art of seeing the world as the potentiality of fiction.

That covers what could excite or sedate upon a macro-reading... Then there is the matter of writing WELL. This from a girl who feels her writing hasn't matured since she was 17 years old, when it was still novel and impressive.

I'll be back to writing about reading in no time.... so ignore my venting. No comments on this one because I don't really want to know what anyone thinks of this rant - in all its sincere, more than likely inappropriate disclosure.

Unrelated: I may be developing something of an affinity for Yates' work.