Monday, September 30, 2013

Commonplace Entry

On Writing

The poet's trade, the writer's trade, is a strange one.  Chesterton said:  "Only one thing is needful--everything."  To a writer this everything is more than an encompassing word; it is literal.  It stands for the chief, for the essential, human experiences.  For example, a writer needs loneliness, and he gets his share of it.  He needs love, and he gets shared and also unshared love.  He needs friendship.  In fact, he needs the universe.  To be a writer is, in a sense, to be a day-dreamer--to be living a kind of double life.

Jorge Luis Borges, "The Writer's Apprenticeship", Borges on Writing, p 163.


Brian Joseph said...

Nice insights James.

Your point about daydreaming is making me think, I wonder if all human storytelling is just an extension of daydreaming.

James said...

Borges is certainly eloquent here and elsewhere in both his fiction and essays. Your comment reminds me of the famous lines by Arthur O'Shaughnessy:

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Music and Moonlight