Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers

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McClelland & Stewart, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 351 pages
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A witty round-up of writers' habits that includes all the big names, such as Dickens, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Hemingway
At public events readers always ask writers how they write. The process fascinates them. Now they have a very witty book that ranges around the world and throughout history to answer their questions. All the great writers are here — Dickens, dashing off his work; Henry James dictating it; Flaubert shouting each word aloud in the garden; Hemingway at work in cafés with his pencil. But pencil or pen, trusty typewriter or computer, they all have their advocates. Not to mention the writers who can only keep the words flowing by writing naked, or while walking or listening to music — and generally obeying the most bizarre superstitions.


On Shakespeare’s works: “Fantastic. And it was all done with a feather!” — Sam Goldwyn

“I write nude, seated on a thick towel, and perhaps with a second towel around me.” — Paul West

“I’ve never heard of anyone getting plumber’s block, or traffic cop’s block.” — Allan Gurganus

“I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” — Brendan Behan


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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PAGE FRIGHT

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This fast-paced, entertaining volume lives up to its subtitle, giving behind-the-scenes insights into what writers really do when they're working: whether it's lounging in the bathtub, writing ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Beginnings
3
The Feather Is Mightier Than the Sword
17
Inkwells Steel Nibs Billions of Ballpoints
30
The Properly Pointed Perfectly Portable Pencil
43
The Long Reign of Longhand
51
First I Vrite by Hand
60
The Almighty Typewriter Can You Hear the Rhythm?
69
Is Panoramas Bare Walls Strange Habits
140
I4 While Working on lt Shut Up About It Or Dont I56 Is They Wrote Lying Down Standing Up Stark Naked
165
Horror Rolls in Like Some Poisonous Fogbank
175
I7 Blocked
187
I8 Tm a Drinker With a Writing Problem
203
I9 The Vtrong Stuff
214
Walking the Walk and Other Steps to Creation
231
Burning Kisses Animal Magnetism
246

IIail the Conquering Word Processor
84
Pins Paste Scissors Recorders The Right Paper Please
95
IO Out of Their Mouths Popped Literature
106
Keep Out Writer at Work 12 0
120
I2 To Hide Out or Greet Life
130
The Daily and Nightly Grind
257
And How I Get There ls Gods Grace
270
We Are Only Telephone Wires
278
Whats Worse Than Writing? Not Vlriting
292
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Harry Bruce, a Halifax-based author of many books, has been gathering these stories all of his life.


From the Hardcover edition.

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