Literary Literalness

Words have a way of taking on a life of their own, grasping the pen or keystrokes from the writer and venturing off into far and away tangents with no rescue line back to the original point in the first place. This, of course, begs the question of what was attempting to be answered in this evolving collection of increasingly obscure sentences? Where is the clarity, the weapon of choice for wordsmiths to make simple of the mysteries around us that results in before unknown and, therefore, profound revelations?

Let me take a second pass at this.

A scene from the upcoming film Genius starring Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Laura Linney captures the contentious, even torturous, relationship between writer and editor.

The process for great writers is often unconventional. Bottling the inspiration for the next great American novel is impossible to predict and anticipate. It happens when it happens for that patient, and ironically persistent, author. In rare circumstances, a finished product, after dozens of scratch-outs, edits and Whiskey splotches, upends the literary world.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby comes to mind.

Fun Fact: Speaking of the late great Mr. Fitzgerald, Max Perkins (portrayed by Colin Firth) was his editor.

Returning to the clip above, Jude Law plays author Thomas Wolfe in what looks like a fascinating journey back to an age of literary giants in the early 20th century. Set for a June 10th release date, Genius is based on National Book Award winner Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.

Get ready to engage in another book vs. movie debate with notes of your own…

or edits, if you will.


Posted on April 12, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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