Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A quotable dinner


Well, I've just packed the last of my dinner guests off to bed. Phew! Writers, what a bunch they are....

"So, Minxy babe, how goes the writing?" Tolkien asked as I heaped more prawns on his cocktail.

"Well...."

"Every writer I know has trouble writing" said Joseph Heller.

"I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories" Harold Ross said with mayonnaise dripping down his chin "and he said he wrote a few widely spaced words on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces".

"Sounds good to me, Harry" I said.

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. Don't you think, Minx?" George Orwell asked, helping himself to more spaghetti.

'I'm pretty sure I've never....."

"Oh yes," Kafka chipped in "Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself."

Goddess, best get the beer out, before they all get too melancholy.

"Easy reading is damn hard writing" Nathaniel Hawthorne said, flicking a pea at one of the Bronte's.

"Yes, yes, don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass" Chekov slurred, burping loudly.

I just hoped it wasn't going to be me best glass, I thought as Lewis Carroll lit another joint.

"When you are describing, a shape, or sound, or tint. Don't state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint." he said "And learn to look at all things, with a sort of mental squint."

Mental squint, that's good coming from you, I thought. Were any of this lot going to offer any sensible advice about writing?

"As for my next book," Virginia Woolf declared, waking from a timely nap "I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me, grown heavy like a ripe pear, pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall".

She should have married Joycey, I thought, they would have made a good couple.

"The best time for planning a book is while you are doing the dishes" Agatha Christie said, nudging Twain in the ribs. I could see her mind was working overtime about the twelve people sat around the table. No doubt she was killing us all off one by one over the dishes!

"A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order" Jean Luc Godard giggled.

"I try to leave out the parts that people skip" Elmore Leonard sniffed.

"That makes sense" I said, sniffing myself.

"Oh no" said Ray Bradbury "you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you".

"Well you lot are getting pissed on my best wine and I really have no idea what I'm going to write next. " I said. "I thought you would be some help - obviously not".

"I never think when I write." said Don Marquis "Nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well."

There was a prolonged silence as his words sunk through the lake of alcohol that my best spaghetti hadn't soaked up.

"Well Minxy darling." said GK Chesterton thoughtfully "You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected passages from the best writers in the world."

Now, I thought, there's an idea!

.



23 comments:

c.s. said...

"is there time for a tiger?" burgess spoke, a mug in hand.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Perhaps by morning, death will have kindly stopped for them all, and Miss Christie too.


Somebody Frost.



S & V

Atyllah said...

Eliot stared into his mug of beer and murmured, "Every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet never escapes itself."

God! the things humans do with words...

Cailleach said...

Oh aye! Objective correlative and all that

Nice writing Minx, hanging out with the best of them, I see ;)

Minx said...

Oh, have just spent an hour cleaning up the mess that those buggers left behind - quotes all over the places.

There are a couple missing and I can't find Agatha.

Oh Goddess, I have just found Joyce sleeping in me bath....

Atyllah said...

Was he wearing clothes or being typically indecent?

john.g. said...

"A quotable dinner", but was it edible? Most of your distinguished guests seemed to be wearing it!

Great stuff Minx!

Taffiny said...

I quite enjoyed that.
Of course I didn't have to clean up after anyone.

Minx said...

Not sure if you'd call a shower cap indecent, Atyllah. Nice to see your henish self here - you is missed my feathered friend.

Edible, John G? Cooking is not me strong point but the spaghetti alla pork sausage and fried mars bars went down well.

Oh Goddess, Taffiny, writers are hard to entertain. I left Kafka and Chekov playing strip poker - it was not a pretty sight.

Atyllah said...

A showercap? Bakaaak! Where was he wearing it?
Ouch!
Tsk, Granny just smacked me.

PS thanks for missing me - it's kind of dull on Novapulse without lots of crazed bloggers...

James Joyce said...

The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole Life to reading my works.

Minx said...

The demand I make, Joyce, is that you remove that shower cap from your head and use it to cover that thing that is frightening the hen!

Meloney Lemon said...

[Ezra was]...the man who had taught me to distrust adjectives as I would later learn to distrust certain people in certain situations...

Earnest Hemingway.

Minx said...

Yeah well, Earnest, I certainly don't trust that Agatha Christie. I have just found a bottle of cyanide in the downstairs loo and there seems to be only me and Showercap Boy left......

Jon M said...

That Joyce came to ours once and left a stream of conciousness right up the bathroom wall, dirty, dirty man...

L.M.Noonan said...

Wunnerful, just wunnerful Minxie oops Minxy. All the rules of writing wrapped up in a faerie tale for the palates of the untutored...one yobbo here. I laughed and laughed imagining it. But seriously, wouldn't it be wonderful to gather them all up for just such an event. You should hold a seance, think of all the money you'd save -on grub and grog?
I especially liked what Jean Luc Godard had to say. pertinant for my writing me thinx.
Thankyou Minxy

Roberta said...

So? What was for desert? Please don't tell me you "Let them eat cake."

Minx said...

Love that, Jon, have nicked it for future reference.

LM,I wrote a blog post at the beginning of my blog career, about a how many interesting people I could squeeze into me bed - in a non-sexual way, you understand (well, almost). A take on the 'guess who's coming to dinner?' game. Maybe we should meme it?

Desert, Roberta? I gave them pineapple and pea icecream - it was a good talking point!

Marie said...

This is great, Minx. Really enjoyed reading it. I was thinking of doing something similar myself. But I never got round to it.

Debi said...

Literary ventriloquism ... brilliant stuff.

Minx said...

I know, I said it without moving a finger!

concerned citizen said...

L>T here, Not speaking as a writer but as a reader...
That was a pretty fucking(trying to help you bump up your pg13 rating ) entertaining post.

I am trying to think up my own dinner party of writers. So far, I have invited Neitsche, Anis Nin & Henry Miller(as a couple) the guy who wrote the book, "I'm OK Your OK"(OK as a joke) kafka & Fyodor Dostoevsky (as a couple)
James Joyce( I love Dubliners & am STILL working on analizing ULYSSES, & have not read Finnegans Wake, yet. Maybe James could condense his works into a few sentences using shower caps as ametaphor)
hmmmm, oh this is fun...how about Pearl S. Buck? (I'm convinced she really wanted to bust out as a radical feminist(?)Everyone invites Jesus, so I won't.(what a damper on a party , IMO. Besides he's not really a real author is he?)Some of my childhood favorites, Jack London & the lady that wrote, The borrowers" series, Mary Norton. & of course the author of the, "Box Car Children.
I think that is anuff for one dinner party.

Minx said...

Oh, oh, going to get this 'ten in a bed' meme going.

Condense Joyce? Are you potty, CC?

Still lurkin', I see, heh!