Saturday, May 11, 2013

Just this one line makes us slightly ill

American writer Stanley Elkin was born on this day in 1930. He wrote:

"If you can't make people miserable by writing, what's the point?"

   He’d set out to be a writer, once and for all. Thirty-six years old, turning over a new leaf. He’d sworn off drinking for a while. Sober, industrious as a squirrel, he didn’t answer the door. He ate soup and crackers, potpies, Spam. Holed up in his garret, he wrote and wrote. Short stories, poems, a novel, and then another. The memoirs of a rat, the one who’d started the Great Plague. Essays. Epistles, letters of defamation, of denunciation. Diatribes. He was angry. Athletic career over, Cutterback dead, Rae Ann done for. His marriage a smoldering ruin. Like Achilles’, his anger encompassed the cosmos, he imagined.  --  Chapter 11, The Misforgotten.

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