February 09, 2005
Hemingway on pencils.
Sorry for the quotation-post. I came across a nice passage from some Hemingway this evening that I thought I would share. Yes, I used a computer and not a pencil to transcribe it, but I went over it three times, and everything is exact and all that. It words sound strange, it's not my fault: "When you start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none. So you might as well use a typewriter because it is much easier and you enjoy it that much more. After you learn to write your whole object is to convey everything, every sensation, sight, feeling, place and emotion to the reader. To do this you have to work over what you write. If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to. First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333 which is a damned good average for a hitter. It also keeps it fluid longer so that you can better it easier." Hemingway on Writing, pg. 51 (exerted from By-Line: Ernest Hemingway, pg. 216). Everyone knows about my affection for wooden pencils, and I've recently inherited an Olympus portable typewriter (more on that when it gets here from Maryland in a month or so). Too bad I'm supposed to be a philosophy researcher or scholar or something like that, and I can't just try to write novels. I have to use what intellectual energy my ADD will afford me for work. Well, I don't really know any good stories, anyway. Anyway, for a really cool film about writing, check out the grossly underestimated Wonderboys, which is on DVD for a sweet price at most stores.