Thursday, April 15, 2010

"When Writers Speak"

This week I received a clipping from my sister here known as Lucy: "When Writers Speak" by Arthur Krystal, an essay in the NY times Book Review from last September 27th. "Why are wonderful writers sometimes such dull conversationalists? Blame it on the brain." Krystal claims that he himself just isn't as smart when he talks as he is when he writes. Apparently science proves different neurons in the brain get activated when we write.

"So the next time you hear a writer on the radio or catch him on the tube or watch him on the monitor or find yourself sitting next to him at dinner, remember he isn't the author of the books you admire; he's just someone visiting the world outside his study or office or wherever the hell he writes...."

So, one could conclude, as fictional characters don't exist outside the page, even the author herself does not. We may thrill to encounter another mind within the pages; but the authorial neurons activated for the project only. The question is, why does this idea disturb me so much?

It's kind of a multiple personality thing that makes me feel stupid when I think about it.


Blogger Pat said...

Thinking about this today (for once thought a thought never goes away) I realized it's because most writers revise and polish their work! Their first drafts would compare as badly as their conversations do--which might or might not be part of their condescending shows. Never mind about the neurons.

1:31 PM  

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