Thursday, June 20, 2013

...a voice in my head...

Phillip Lopate, Columbia University
I am reading (and enjoying) Phillip Lopate's To Show and To Tell, a slim volume about the craft of literary nonfiction.  It is a nicely paced, mature elaboration on non-fiction with a special focus on essay. 

Here is a little morsel, to give you a taste, from a chapter entitled The made-Up Self :

"When I sit down to write, I hear a voice in my head.  Who sent me that voice?  Did I fabricate it?  If I did, I can't remember.  In my case (pace those who insist the self is multivalent), that voice is singular.  I don't hear voices; at this stage of life I'm too rigid and set in my ways, and so it tends to be the same damn voice jabbering on.  All I know is that I keep listening to that voice to surprise me, say something out of ordinary, provocative, mischievous, borderline dangerous."