Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers

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McClelland & Stewart, Sep 22, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 360 pages
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

Speaking to the Eyes Beginnings
2
The Feather Is Mightier Than the Sword
16
Inkwells Steel Nibs Billions of Ballpoints
29
The Properly Pointed Perfectly Portable Pencil
42
The Long Reign of Longhand
50
First I Write by Hand
59
The Almighty Typewriter Can You Hear the Rhythm?
68
Hail the Conquering Word Processor
83
Horror Rolls in Like Some Poisonous Fogbank
174
Blocked
186
Im a Drinker with a Writing Problem
202
The Wrong Stuff
213
Walking the Walk and Other Steps to Creation
230
Burning Kisses Animal Magnetism
245
The Daily and Nightly Grind
256
And How I Get There Is Gods Grace
269

Pins Paste Scissors Recorders The Right Paper Please
94
Out of Their Mouths Popped Literature
105
Keep Out Writer at Work
119
To Hide Out or Greet Life
129
Panoramas Bare Walls Strange Habits
139
While Working on It Shut Up About It Or Dont
155
They Wrote Lying Down Standing Up Stark Naked
164
We Are Only Telephone Wires
277
Whats Worse Than Writing? Not Writing
291
From the Great French Hunter of le Mot Juste le Mot Dernier
304
Acknowledgments
316
Bibliography
318
Index
340
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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