Bretholmes.com - Bret Holmes Baltimore Md

    Investment News   |    DON'T   |    WORK   |    STOP   |    CRYING!   |    GUESTBOOK   |

I Kan't Spell



Wednesday, October 27, 2004

 
Hemingway - Green Hills of Africa
As I walk home from work in the afternoons I read. I usually read white papers from work or magazines that I don't have time to catch up on, or even, rather clumsily, the city paper. But once a month I'll knock out a book. This month I looked down at my Hemingway collection and realized I had only really read about 5 of the 12. So I picked up Green Hills of Africa. For the first time in my life, as I was walking I had to sit down and take a break because what I was reading moved me that much. And it wasn't that it was groundbreaking or even that well written it was just something to spoke directly to me. The same way a sad song in a car radio would speak to someone who just lost his girlfriend. Maybe it dejavu. Maybe it was a strange mix of honestly and remember what I had once said but that it was now backed up by Hemingway made it seem all the more powerful.

Some quotes from that part of the book -
    Some writers are only born to help another writer to write one sentence.

    Writers should work alone. They should see each other only after their work is done, and not too often then. Otherwise they become like writers in New York. All angleworms in a bottle, trying to derive knowledge and nourishment from their own contact and from the bottle. Sometimes the bottle is shaped art, sometimes economics, sometimes economic-religion. But once they are in the bottle they stay there. They are lonesome outside of the bottle. They do not want to be lonesome. They are afraid to be alone in their beliefs and no woman would love any of them enough so that they could kill their lonesomeness in that woman, or pool it with hers, or make something with her that makes the rest unimportant.

    We destroy them in many ways. First, economically. They make money. It is only by hazard that a writer makes money although good books always make money eventually. Then our writers when they have made some money increase their standard of living and they are caught. They have to write to keep up their establishments, their wives, and so on, and they write slop. It is slop not on purpose but because it is hurried. Because they write when there is nothing to say or no water in the well. Because they are ambitious. Then, once they have betrayed themselves, they justify it and you get more slop. Or else they read the critics. If they believe the critics when they say they are great then they must believe them when they say they are rotten and they lose confidence. At present we have two good writers who cannot write because they have lost confidence through reading critics. If they wrote, sometimes it would be good and sometimes not so good and sometimes it would be quite bad, but the good would get out. But they have read the critics and they must write masterpieces. The masterpieces the critics said they wrote. They weren't masterpieces, of course. They were just quite good books. So now they cannot write at all. The critics have made them impotent.


After I got done reading these and sort of catching myself I realized that they weren't very groundbreaking and that, quite perhaps, they were poking fun at someone just like me. Someone who, would have the laziness to copy and hunt for something that has already been written and put it somewhere where others could feed off it. Either way I feel as though I learned some sort of lesson.

    "The reason every one now tries to avoid it, to deny that it is important, to make it seem vain to try to do it, is because it is so difficult. Too many factors must combine to make it possible."

    "What is this now?"

    "The kind of writing that can be done. How far prose can be carried if any one is serious enough and has luck. There is a fourth and fifth dimension that can be gotten."

    "You believe it?"

    "I know it."

    "And if a writer can get this?"

    "Then nothing else matters. It is more important than anything he can do. The chances are, of course, that he will fail. But there is a chance that he succeeds."

    "But that is poetry you are talking about."

    "No. It is much more difficult than poetry. It is a prose that has never been written. But it can be written, without tricks and without cheating. With nothing that will go bad afterwards."

    "And why has it not been written?"

    "Because there are too many factors. First, there must be talent, much talent. Talent such as Kipling had. Then there must be discipline. The discipline of Flaubert. Then there must be the conception of what it can be and an absolute conscience as unchanging as the standard meter in Paris, to prevent faking. Then the writer must be intelligent and disinterested and above all he must survive. Try to get all these in one person and have him come through all the influences that press on a writer. The hardest thing, because time is so short, is for him to survive and get his work done. But I would like us to have such a writer and to read what he would write. What do you say? Should we talk about something else?"

Comments: Post a Comment



Favorites List
Pandora Song List
Amazon Wish List
Reading
Revolutionary Wealth - Tofflers
Brian Jones

Things Making Me Smile
The City
Newness
Listening - [out of 5]
Benjy Ferree - 4.8
The Thermals 3.1
David Gray 3.8

Quote(S)
Like the guy with the beard? YES - like the guy with the beers. What? Yep

Bands That I Check Schedules For
Badly Drawn Boy
Belle and Sebastian
Benjy Ferree
The Black Keys
Deerhoof
Drive By Truckers
The Eels
Enon
Kimya Dawson
Mark Hopkins Band
Oasis
Iron and Wine
Mates of State
Ted Leo
Travis
Two if By Sea
Ween

Places I Rock in the Flesh
9:30 Club
Black Cat
Electric Factory
Fletcher's
8x10
The Knitting Factory
The Otto Bar
Recher Theatre
Sonar

Places I Eat/Drink in the Flesh
Aldo's
Bishop's Collar
Boccacio's
Cross Street Market
Hull Street
Joun Gak
Mick O'Shea's
No Way Jose
Porter's
The Irish Pub
Turner's
The Waterfront Hotel

My Greatest Hits (that's so lame)

The time I almost killed a child
July 4th in Korea
Excerpts from Demian
Why I screen phone calls
Bret's Death Metal Report
A conversation at a cocktail party
A conversation at breakfast
So you think you are a Baltimorian
A conversation about a girl singer
Observations from a bar
Observations of strippers
Tech Language
Why I love Oasis
I would go to war
"You Son of a Bitch" An Open Letter to Tom Friend
Dance to Your Ocean
Dream Ranch
When men become pussies
Jason Whitlock is a racist propaganda promoter
Pitchfork takes music snobbery to new level
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
The Hatred that is Runts Candy
Starting corporate line-up
Google Bio
Do you know me? List 1 / List 2 / List 3
The Night I Burned Philly Down
So You Want to be a Booze Hound
She Said it was Free
Funniest Corporate Story Ever
Striped Shirts and the Fucks that Wear Them
Death Peddle
NEW!!!
Pieces of Morning
Oasis Album Revew
The Art of Tipping
Starting Fires With Grass Stains
Bret's Federal Hill Food Review
Sexcapades and your Picture on the Internet
Stupid Secrets
Stupid Secrets the Return


Contact Me

Stuff I Swing By From Time to Time

- MUSIC
Donewaiting.com
hive3.com
Indie Video Archive
Large Hearted Boy
Important Records
Oasis News
Pitch Fork Media
Reptilian Records
Scenestars MP3 Blogs
Sound Garden Baltimore

- BUY
Aloud.com
Pre-Shrunk
Shotgun Apparel
Warrior Clothing

- HUMOR
Angry Little Girls
Atom Films
Eye Envision
Homestar Runner
Kill Frog
Junior Varsity Meat Market

- PERSONAL
Baltimore City Paper
The Baltimore Sun
Calvert Hall
Degroen's Brewers
ESL Cafe
Fantasy Sports
Korean Herald
Villa Julie College Baseball
W3 Schools



Archives
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010
07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010
12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011
01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011
02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012
07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012
10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012
11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012
01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013
04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013
06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013
07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013
08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013
09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013
10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013
11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014
01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014
02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014
03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014
04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014
05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014
06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014
07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014
08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014
10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014
11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014
12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015
01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015
02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015
03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015
04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015
05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015
06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015
07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015
08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015
10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015
11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015
12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016
01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016
03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016
06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016
07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016
08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016
10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016
11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016
02/01/2017 - 03/01/2017
03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017
04/01/2017 - 05/01/2017
05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017
07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017
08/01/2017 - 09/01/2017
10/01/2017 - 11/01/2017
01/01/2018 - 02/01/2018
05/01/2018 - 06/01/2018
07/01/2018 - 08/01/2018
08/01/2018 - 09/01/2018