Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Pietà by William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), painted in 1876, goes on sale at Christies today in NYC. It is estimated to sell for anywhere between $1.5 and $2.5 million. If it is sold to a private collector this may be the last chance to see it.

It hangs at the end of a long corridor--as you turn the corner you catch your breath.  The two halos are embossed gold, serving to flatten and at the same time separate the two central figures. So that they appear to float free of the space. The angels writhe in agony and wonder at such love, creating at the same time this incredibly beautiful frame around Mary and Jesus.The body of Christ almost glows. Mary's hands that won't let go. And the face of Mary looking out of the picture--as if into the future and us--seems to see the full horror of what has just happened. What our sins have done. Grief too great to bear.            

It is one of the most moving paintings I have ever seen.

More information here

Monday, June 7, 2010

invisible words

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977)

There's a humility in this view point. And it seem to me to be the true one: the view of writer as the servant of the story--whose job is to discover as much as create. To listen and transcribe. The writer basically as scribe. 

It's about the story, not about you the writer.

Do you ever have the feeling that if you don't show up and get those words visible--QUICK--they might just give up on you and go somewhere else to someone who will?

That's motivation to keep showing up. Being available, there, to listen to whatever's happening that day. To whatever your characters are talking about. 

As one editor told me once "Put your characters in a room and listen to what they say."

It's like a show going on in your computer every day. Why would you want to miss that? 

where AM I?

back to my site?
back to twitter?

back to my super duper blog?
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