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April 5 (Anis Shivani asks, and Richard Burgin answers)

I drop this now in case I forget to blog later today, or in the part of the day when it is normal to be awake.

Anyway, this great interview with Richard Burgin has it all--Philip Rahv, Isaac Singer, Borges, Brandeis, Drexel, Boulevard, agent angst, and more.

Here's an excerpt from The Huffington Post:

Shivani: I think good writing is not fundamentally about self-expression. Do you agree or disagree? If it's not, then what is it about?
Burgin: I agree that good writing is not fundamentally about self-expression but rather the creation and exploration of the writer's own emotional territory. If the writer concentrates on populating his world mainly with images of him or herself, his writing will be narcissistic and fail. The self is expressed in good writing but subtly or secondarily as a byproduct, as it were, of their created world.
Shivani: What is the single most self-destructive thing a writer can do to harm his or her growth?
Burgin: Don't get addicted to any drugs and don't listen too much to anyone from a "school" of writing who tells you there is only one way to write well. As Isaac Singer said "small fish swim in schools."


Caroline Gill said…
'self-expression' versus 'the creation and exploration of the writer's own emotional territory' ... yes, food for thought here indeed, Alex. Thank you for drawing our attention to this piece. It can sometimes be (or appear to be) a fine line though between being seen to promote the self and being seen to show what it is to be human! It will be interesting if others respond to this ...

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