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Monday, December 16, 2013

Samuel Beckett: Worstward Ho

In an essay published by Glimmer Train, my partner Silas quoted famous lines from Samuel Beckett's novel Worstward Ho.  You should read the essay, but in case you don't get a chance, here are some of Beckett's words:

Worstword Ho

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

[...]
Enough. Sudden enough. Sudden all far. No move and sudden all far. All least. Three pins. One pinhole. In dimmost dim. Vasts apart. At bounds of boundless void. Whence no farther. Best worse no farther. Nohow less. Nohow worse. Nohow naught. Nohow on.

Said nohow on.

The year of 2013 is almost over, and once again I have practiced being a creative writer or in other words a magician.  It's hard work.  Rewards are fleeting but very sweet.

All magic is illusion, I'm certain, because all human experience is illusion of one type or another.  Perception is illusion, and so is thought.  We have the illusion of worse and the illusion of better.  I really like what one of my students expressed in a reflection on studying fiction in our workshop this fall.  Maddie DiStasio wrote: "I guess what I would tell someone about wanting to be a fiction writer is that they will need to get their hands dirty, they will need to fall flat a couple (or more like 40,000) times, and they will need to learn to embrace the inherent possibilities that spring from failure.  I'd tell them that this is precisely why writing is a liberating experience.  You will learn how to fail [...]."

Thank you, Maddie, and Breeyon, Chelsy, Jade, Amanda, Julia, Laura, Christine, Bre, Abby, Jenna, Dylan, Madison,and Nick.  Nohow on right into 2014.