April 13, 2006

Get Me Rewrite!

"You don't write, you rewrite" (paraphrasing Hofmann paraphrasing Lowell in an old LRB via a bunch of intermediaries...).

(And why haven't I read Lowell before? The start of his "Reading Myself" in Hofmann's review:
Like thousands, I took just pride and more than just,
struck matches that brought my blood to a boil;
I memorised the tricks to set the river on fire –
somehow never wrote something to go back to.
keeps making me dither between the reading "I took just pride and more than just, / struck matches..." and the way I first (carelessly) read it (and would have phrased it): "I took just pride / and more than just struck matches ...". That fine equivocation on "just"... and that phrase "somehow never wrote something to go back to": who's not returning? And this from the rewriter?)

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