Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Friday, February 23, 2007

On being an unsuccessful writer: part three


This week's Sunday NYTBR features a fine review: Kathryn Harrison writing about Joan Acocella's latest essay collection.

Harrison writes of Acoccella:

"She is a celebrant of art, not blind to the flaws of what she admires nor so inclusive in her praise that she fails to discriminate between the lesser and greater novels of, for example, Saul Bellow, but a critic whose enthusiasm is infectious. Clearly, she reviews only what she finds worth her time to review — work she loves.

Particularly, Acocella is interested in artistic careers that include break and recovery, and how the work changes in the wake of trauma, including the chronic, compounding trauma of rejection. She is a keen and sympathetic observer of the ways in which corrosive disappointment can strip away the veneer of culture and refinement that an immature artist typically acquires, revealing the more genuine sensitivity, the art, beneath."

Imagine--writing about art you love, rather than finding work to eviscerate. Imagine being the sort of writer Accocella celebrates, one who writes despite, or because of, instead of attending panels on the horrors of the writing life. Imagine that.

Back to the salt mines.


Anonymous bdr said...

BK, check this:

February 24, 2007 6:15 AM  
Blogger Barking Kitten said...

Excellent, thanks...I just subscribed but haven't started getting it yet...


February 24, 2007 8:52 PM  

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