Page Fright: Tools, Tricks, and Fetishes of Famous Writers

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McClelland & Stewart, Sep 22, 2009 - 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
 

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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 Write by Hand
60
The Almighty Typewriter Can You Hear the Rhythm?
69
While Working on It Shut Up About It Or Dont
156
They Wrote Lying Down Standing Up Stark Naked
165
Horror Rolls in Like Some Poisonous Fogbank
175
Blocked
187
iS Im a Drinker With a Writing Problem
203
The Wrong Stuff
214
Walking the Walk and Other Steps to Creation
231
2i Burning Kisses Animal Magnetism
246

Hail the Conquering Word Processor
84
Pins Paste Scissors Recorders The Right Paper Please
95
Out of Their Mouths Popped Literature
106
Keep Out Writer at Work
120
To Hide Out or Greet Life
130
Panoramas Bare Walls Strange Habits
140
The Daily and Nightly Grind
257
And How I Get There Is Gods Grace
270
We Are Only Telephone Wires
278
Whats Worse Than Writing? Not Writing
292
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

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

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