30 May 2008

bachmannpreis new website online, john irving reading

this week there were two interesting literary events on my list.

the first one was on wednesday:
the launch of the brand new, multilingual homepage of the ingeborg bachmann preis.

the second one was a reading by john irving tonight (i'm sure the kcl people will put a review up soon. until then, this link here will lead you to another, kind of similar reading of his). it was more of a lecture on his way of working than anything else, which was fantastic. for example he admitted to editing his texts up to twenty times, until he finds 'that one wrong word'. what a relief to hear that from a gifted person like him!! somehow i always seem to think that literary perfection is supposed to happen right when the words appear on the page. especially when i do not write much over an extended period of time i tend to forget that working extremely hard for a good text is perfectly normal. other cool john irving quotes from tonight include:

i write to a sound.

i write from the last sentence to the first chapter.

[on the importance of a well-crafted plot] how can you know where i am going if i don't?

the first sentence is always easier than the last.

all writers are outsiders. or should be.

it's a good feeling to be a popular novelist, but i value my enemies, too. more than they could ever imagine, in fact.

i got into wrestling because i was angry and nobody told me things. i was resentful.

making films to me feels like skipping school.

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