Tuesday, November 29

The Faith of a Writer

" 'An affinity for risk, danger, mystery, a certain derangement of the soul; a craving for distress... the predilection for insomnia' - these are some of the ingredients in the personalities of writers. Such are the people who create what Joyce Carol Oates calls 'the highest expression of the human spirits,' art. Oates writes that it requires solitude to create a counterworld, seeming to agree with Virginia Woolf, whom she quotes: ' A book should be unwriteable.' In other words, one can't lay it all out ahead. The writer is damned. While some used alcohol to rest, Oates admits an addiction to running. But Oates gives us something larger, something worthy of faith. She reminds us of the irrelevance of the writer's ego: 'The "artist" can inhabit any individual,' she writes, 'for the individual is irrelevant to "art." "

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