24 Following


Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You

Zen in the Art of Writing - Ray Bradbury everyone on goodreads is so nice. it's like lowering yourself into an ancient volcanic sinkhole on bali filled with warm, soothing water. tiny bubbles are rising up out of the sinkhole floor, and the sensation resembles... well, like a gigantic tongue tickling you. you're completely naked. all around are dark-skinned bare-breasted balinese girls strumming the lyre, picking mango fruit off the trees, and there's no religion anywhere! no guy in a white shirt and black tie trying to sell you the church of latter day saints. no kaftaned eastern orthodox high priest covered with jewels and fine white hair. no religion whatsoever.

I guess I'm supposed to get to the point. this is like, supposed to be a book review. but why rush? why agitatedly make topic sentences and brilliant asides as long as you're in tropical paradise. sell the house. sell the kids. move to bali. before organized religion every showed up, all it was was dark-skinned bare-breasted balinese nymphs without guilt or shame or religious practice. but anyway, of course we have to say something about the book. well ray bradbury is both right and wrong. this isn't pat aside. Bradbury, when correct, is very very correct. but when wrong, he's wrong all the way. Fahrenheit 451 is over-rated. Bradbury under produced. his bicycles are always "insect-like." he likes carnivals, witches, the green woods of illnois. these things are generally right except to the degree they're wrong.

I'll get around to the review eventually. second change of topic. when I was nineteen I took the California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco. three days. upon arrival in San Francisco, I had a copy of 'On the Road' in my backpack as well as a beat-up old b-list travel guide (now there's a rare category of book in this age of FODOR-FROMMOR-LONELYPLANET-ROUGHGUIDE). finding myself without any particular plans, I sat next to an Ethiopian guy, 50ish or so. I asked him if he were Eritrean. he was. he was very impressed. he was not very bright or withit. shortly thereafter Tigger came by.

Tigger was an informal homeless leader of youths. that was to say, like everybody knew him. just walking around with him, he was constantly running into people he knew, exchanging tips, discussing gossip, occasionally trading some minute quantity of drugs for some minutely edible food. he wore a large blue-gray jumpsuit, and he was from like Atlanta, Georgia. by the time it started to get really late, he took me to a deserted lot where a bunch of squatters (nobody over the age of 19) were camped out. I tried to sleep on a discarded sofa, but it was claimed by one of the guys. I ended up on a pallet. the group of them were smoking crack and then very impressed when I rustled up some McDonalds in the morning for the experience.

BANJO, my good friend from university days, claims this night is the most important thing I've ever done. it doesn't matter if I've spent 200 days working at a corporation, filing reports, getting things organized. this was it. this was the night. a novel can be written. the soft liquid night, the San Francisco sky: these would be the elements for an entire constructed reality, if I could so choose. BANJO himself is a professional artist, supporting himself from busking to stadium concerts. he opened for Bob Dylan. I've met Woody Allen. writing is wholesome and good for you.

if we criticize Ray Bradbury, aren't we, like, criticizing fifteen year old people? everyone meets and adores Ray Bradbury at the age of fifteen , so if we don't give this book about how to write four stars, aren't we , de facto, attacking the fifteen year old selves that remain buried in all? and isn't Ray Bradbury himself fifteen years old in mindset, attitude, style, and belief system?

well, i guess this entry more or less applies all the writing lessons given in ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING. it was written in one-go, without any forethought or planning or revision. it focused on sensory detail.