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Greetings from the UK (1 Viewer)

Private Universe

Senior Member
Hello, I am based in East Anglia, UK. Busy working on a family saga and eager to learn from and exchange writerly ideas, tips, suggestions and quotes with fellow members.

A formidable distraction from doing my own writing, and reading more fiction, is reading the biographies, autobiographies and letters of writers and artists. One gleans such fascinating insights, for example, I read in a biography of Catherine Cookson that, after she died, her publisher released some of her unpublished manuscripts and got angry responses from CC fans who accused the publisher of trying to pass off some inferior writer’s work as CC’s! That was a great lesson for me: even eminently saleable authors have flops – manuscripts fit only for ‘trunk publishing’.

As Nicholson Baker says in his novel ‘The Anthologist’ (2010, p. 101):

“Out of hundreds of poems two or three are really good. Maybe four or five. Six tops. All the middling poems they write are necessary to form a raised mulch bed or nest for the great poems and to prove to the world that they labored diligently and in good faith for some years at their calling. In other words, they can’t just dash off one or two great poems and then stop. That won’t work. Nobody will give them the “great poet” label if they write just two great poems and nothing else. Even if they’re the greatest poems ever. But it’s perfectly okay, in fact it’d typical, if ninety-five percent of the poems they write aren’t great. Because they never are.”

Some dialogue I enjoyed between Lord Byron and Shelley from the 2003 BBC drama Byron:

S: “What makes you write?”
B: “My inability to prevent it. You?”
S: “My dream of revolution.”
 
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Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
I hate to intrude, but, hello. What part of Suffolk? I spent 7 years of my life there in the 50s and 60s and can still, at 76, do a very passable Suffolk accent, good enough to have had a part in "The Dig..."
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
Hi Private Universe...intriguing username. Welcome to WF. Family saga sounds interesting. Does it follow your own family or is it fiction?
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
I hate to intrude, but, hello. What part of Suffolk? I spent 7 years of my life there in the 50s and 60s and can still, at 76, do a very passable Suffolk accent, good enough to have had a part in "The Dig..."
I'm not actually from Suffolk but a great place to live, I believe. What is The Dig? Based on your avatar, are you a Grand Prix enthusiast by any chance?

I look forward to learning my way around this forum and reading your posts.
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
Hi Private Universe...intriguing username. Welcome to WF. Family saga sounds interesting. Does it follow your own family or is it fiction?
Thank you, and thanks for your interest in my family saga. It is a work of fiction. However, I think every family has stories worth writing about. It's especially compelling when one person or generation writes about the other e.g., the autobiography of Evelyn Waugh and that of his son Auberon Waugh. I look forward to reading about and/or reading what you write.

My username derived from an idea in this quote from the British poet Ted Hughes:

"Goethe called his work one big confession, didn’t he? Looking at his work in the broadest sense, you could say the same of Shakespeare: a total self-examination and self-accusation, a total confession—very naked, I think, when you look into it. Maybe it’s the same with any writing that has real poetic life. Maybe all poetry, insofar as it moves us and connects with us, is a revealing of something that the writer doesn’t actually want to say but desperately needs to communicate, to be delivered of. Perhaps it’s the need to keep it hidden that makes it poetic—makes it poetry. The writer daren’t actually put it into words, so it leaks out obliquely, smuggled through analogies. We think we’re writing something to amuse, but we’re actually saying something we desperately need to share. The real mystery is this strange need. Why can’t we just hide it and shut up? Why do we have to blab? Why do human beings need to confess? Maybe if you don’t have that secret confession, you don’t have a poem—don’t even have a story. Don’t have a writer. If most poetry doesn’t seem to be in any sense confessional, it’s because the strategy of concealment, of obliquity, can be so compulsive that it’s almost entirely successful. The smuggling analogy is loaded with interesting cargo that seems to be there for its own sake—subject matter of general interest—but at the bottom of Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes, for instance, Milton tells us what nearly got him executed. The novelty of some of Robert Lowell’s most affecting pieces in Life Studies, some of Anne Sexton’s poems, and some of Sylvia’s was the way they tried to throw off that luggage, the deliberate way they stripped off the veiling analogies. Sylvia went furthest in the sense that her secret was most dangerous to her. She desperately needed to reveal it. You can’t overestimate her compulsion to write like that. She had to write those things—even against her most vital interests. She died before she knew what The Bell Jar and the Ariel poems were going to do to her life, but she had to get them out. She had to tell everybody . . . like those Native American groups who periodically told everything that was wrong and painful in their lives in the presence of the whole tribe. It was no good doing it in secret; it had to be done in front of everybody else. Maybe that’s why poets go to such lengths to get their poems published. It’s no good whispering them to a priest or a confessional. And it’s not for fame, because they go on doing it after they’ve learned what fame amounts to. No, until the revelation’s actually published, the poet feels no release. In all that, Sylvia was an extreme case, I think."
Source: The Paris Review, 'Ted Hughes, The Art of Poetry No. 71', Interviewed by Drue Heinz. ISSUE 134, SPRING 1995.

i.e., we all have intensely personal stories but putting them down in writing gives us a hope of connecting with each other through them.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
I'm not actually from Suffolk but a great place to live, I believe. What is The Dig? Based on your avatar, are you a Grand Prix enthusiast by any chance?

I look forward to learning my way around this forum and reading your posts.

"The Dig" is a film about the discovery of the Luton Hoo Viking hoard in Suffolk.

I used to work in the business and a friend and I built the car in the picture and I raced it. And yes, I've been following F1 since 1956.
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I do like the idea of writing a family saga. Did you ever watch the period drama series Forsyte Saga or Downton Abbey?

i.e., we all have intensely personal stories but putting them down in writing gives us a hope of connecting with each other through them.

Yes, I am writing my memoirs to pass down to my grandchildren. Grandchildren see us more as a partner in adventure and mischief but to our children, we are just Mum and Dad. :)

My username derived from an idea in this quote from the British poet Ted Hughes:

Ah, I see. Do you also enjoy writing poetry?

Anyways, if you need any help navigating the forum or have any question etc. please send me a PM (Private Message)
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
"The Dig" is a film about the discovery of the Luton Hoo Viking hoard in Suffolk.

I used to work in the business and a friend and I built the car in the picture and I raced it. And yes, I've been following F1 since 1956.
Incredible that you built that car and raced it! A true F1 enthusiast. Out of interest, do you belong to any F1 forums? Who was your favourite driver from the 50s? Moss? Fangio? Someone else?
Do you do any Grand Prix writing?

I'll look out for The Dig!
 

Private Universe

Senior Member
I do like the idea of writing a family saga. Did you ever watch the period drama series Forsyte Saga or Downton Abbey?



Yes, I am writing my memoirs to pass down to my grandchildren. Grandchildren see us more as a partner in adventure and mischief but to our children, we are just Mum and Dad. :)



Ah, I see. Do you also enjoy writing poetry?

Anyways, if you need any help navigating the forum or have any question etc. please send me a PM (Private Message)
Thanks, I will!

Great that you're writing your memoirs to pass down to your grandchildren - what a valuable gift. A quote by Ernest Becker ('Growing Up Rugged: Fritz Perls and Gestalt therapy') which you might enjoy:

"In the last line of Perls’s autobiography, which surely must be a telling point; I mean, imagine you’re writing an autobiography, right? About how great you are, and what a tremendous person you are, which we all have to do anyway, at least before we die. But we usually die before we get a chance, which is fortunate for the libraries. The last line -- what do you put as the last line in your autobiography? Something really vital. Something at least self-revelatory. If you’re dishonest, you put in a bid for posterity; if you’re honest, you put in a statement showing your open and human feelings. Perls, an honest man, put in his autobiography as the last line, "Will I ever learn to trust myself completely?" Now this can’t possibly be an afterthought, you see; this must be the dilemma of his whole life."

I did dabble in poetry once but haven't for a while - there seems to be far too much to do in prose writing, both fiction and non-fiction. I certainly like reading about poets and their poems. One of my favourite anecdotes from the Sylvia Plath-Ted Hughes story: Someone asked Ted "Does Sylvia write poetry too?". His reply: ‘No, she’s a poet’. Do you write poetry?

I haven't seen the period drama series Forsyte Saga but I did watch Downton Abbey - a great family saga with a large cast of fascinating characters with their individual but overlapping storylines!

Have just looked up Forsyte Saga: "They chronicle the vicissitudes of the leading members of a large, upper-middle-class English family, similar to Galsworthy's family." Is the 2002 TV version any good?
 
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Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Hello, I am based in East Anglia, UK. Busy working on a family saga and eager to learn from and exchange writerly ideas, tips, suggestions and quotes with fellow members.

I am huge fan of sagas. James Michener, one of my favourites of all times, was an early adopter of the saga. Recently, I have enjoyed Kevin Kwan's light-hearted brand of the saga. What saga authors are you inspired by?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Do you know, I don't think I know any family saga books. Which James Michener would you recommend? I'd best get reading one!

Hawaii, Texas and Alaska are my favs.

If you want a good light-hearted read, Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians series is a delight. He actually includes a family tree at the beginning. It's a good technique you may wish to replicate.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
Incredible that you built that car and raced it! A true F1 enthusiast. Out of interest, do you belong to any F1 forums? Who was your favourite driver from the 50s? Moss? Fangio? Someone else?
Do you do any Grand Prix writing?

I'll look out for The Dig!

I occasionally post on the Autosport Forum, nothing more than that. I don't really have favourites, never saw Fangio race but saw most of the others - I once gave James Hunt a lift to Reading, and was talking to one of Graham Hill's and Jim Clark's former mechanics only yesterday...
 
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