Saturday, February 8, 2014

the last book I ever read (Richard Ford's The Sportswriter, excerpt one)

from The Sportswriter by Richard Ford:

Why did I quit writing? Forgetting for the moment that I quit writing to become a sportswriter, which is more like being a businessman, or an old-fashioned traveling salesman with a line of novelty household items, than being a genuine writer, since in so many ways words are just our currency, our medium of exchange with our readers, and there is very little that is ever genuinely creative to it at all—even if you’re not much more than a fly-swat reporter, as I’m not. Real writing, after all, is something much more complicated and enigmatic than anything usually having to do with sports, though that’s not to say a word against sportswriting, which I’d rather do than anything.

Was it just that things did not come easily enough? Or that I couldn’t translate my personal recognitions into the ambiguous stuff of complex literature? Or that I had nothing to write about, no more discoveries up my sleeve or the pizzazz to write the more extensive work?

And my answer is: there are those reasons and at least twenty better ones. (Some people only have one book in them. There are worse things.)

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