Re: guess who & when

From: Jim Rovira <>
Date: Sat Jan 25 2003 - 08:20:40 EST

Man, this deserves sooo much more of an answer than just agreement.

One of my favorite lines in all Salinger's work is Seymour's advice to
Buddy about writing. It made such an impression on me when I first read
it that it hovers before my eyes every time I sit down to write. So
far, I've only thought of it in terms of fiction writing (it's easier
for me to conceive of fiction I enjoy than non-fiction), but plan to
work it into all my writing eventually :

     If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that
     you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You
     simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask
     yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world
     Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's
     choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly
     believe it as I read it. You just sit down shamelessly and
     write the thing yourself. (S:AI 187)

I'm thinking there are two types of writers who write for themselves:
the writer who writes for himself as a reader, and the writer who writes
for himself as a writer.

The former is often worth reading. I'm not too sure about the latter.


Scottie Bowman wrote:

> The thing is: who DO you write for?
> All the bananafishes in the world? A Hollywood front office?
> The ghost of one's old English master? The review pages of
> the Spectator? The ladies in of your Mum's book circle?

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Received on Sat Jan 25 11:18:27 2003

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