By Bret Anthony Johnston, Melissa Pritchard
Poets & Writers “Best Books for Writers" selection
Publishers Weekly “Top 10: Literary Biographies, Essays & Criticism"
In an essay entitled “Spirit and Vision" Melissa Pritchard poses the query: “Why write?" Her solution reverberates all through A Solemn excitement, proposing an indisputable case for either the facility of language and the nurturing fidelity of the writing lifestyles. no matter if describing the deeply inside inventive lifestyles required to write down fiction, looking for the misplaced legacy of yank literature as embodied by way of Walt Whitman, being embedded with a tender woman GI in Afghanistan, touring with Ethiopian tribes, or revealing the heartrending tale of her informally followed son William, a former Sudanese baby slave, this can be nonfiction vividly engaged with the realm. In those fifteen essays, Pritchard stocks her ardour for writing and storytelling that educates, honors, and inspires.
Melissa Pritchard is the writer of, such a lot lately, the radical Palmerino and the quick tale assortment The Odditorium. Her books have got the Flannery O'Connor, Janet Heidinger Kafka, and Carl Sandburg awards and of her brief fiction collections have been big apple instances impressive publication and Editors' selection choices. Pritchard has labored as a journalist in Afghanistan, India, and Ethiopia, and her nonfiction has seemed in numerous guides, together with O, The Oprah journal, Arrive, Chicago Tribune, and Wilson Quarterly. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Additional resources for A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write (The Art of the Essay Series)
In reading the feuilleton and the parts of the novel that precede and follow it, I am remi nded of a piece of music by Alban Berg , something he composed for Wedekind's Lulu, the variations for the Marquis Casti-Piani's salon , where everything is won and every thing is lost, and from which the supremely beauti ful Lulu runs off into the darkness, escaping the net of police and pimps. Balzac's novel has something of this darkness and something of this radiance . The pages from Lost lllus;om that form the center of the novel and in which it is encoded read as follows [in the English translation by Kath leen Raine (New York: Modern Library, 1 967), pp.
He talks not so much about Coralie herself as about her feet and her beautiful legs. Balzac's genius JS ON AN IMAGINARY FEUILLETON proves itself not least in the fact that his individual impulses correspond to collective responses that became widespread only at a time when he was al ready part of history; he was no doubt the first, and not only i n that feuilleton, to discover legs for literature . Lucien is dazzled but not blind . His affected indifference to the plot, language, and poetic quality of the play lets critique shine through .
They no longer have any self confidence . They do not wish themselves welli they act as though no good could come of them. Anyone who sti ll writes books is seized un awares by a fear with which he is otherwise only too familiar through his critical self-reflection: the fear that his activity is useless. The ground sways beneath his feet while he continues to behave as though he had a firm place to stand or si t. The autonomy of the work, to which the writer must devote all his energies, is disavowed by the physical form of the work.