December 29, 2008

Which Writer Would You Like to Meet? My Choice Is...

By meet, I mean sit with for several hours just talking.

Some of my favorite writers are known as A-#1 curmudgeons or ego-bags. I know many love Kurt Vonnegut, as he has earned his reputation as a great writer. I have watched interviews of him, and know he know writing, but I get the impression he thinks plenty of himself. I'll read what they write, but don't care to share a bottle of wine with them.

My choice... Edward Lear. Not because he was the deepest of poets, but because he wrote some delightful, happy poems. Their consequence is not adding to the study of poetry, but are appreciated by ordinary readers. Often excellence and hoi polloi popularity are not one unit.

I do not dream of being Shakespeare, John Keats, or C.S. Lewis (love all). My own writing is much more populist and humorous (or, rather, such is what I work toward), and Lear is among those I revere (rhyme intended).

Who else... probably more of the classic writers than modern ones. The moderns are often embroiled in making statements, or murked in full-fledged publishing machines. That is fine, but a pure writer is hard to find in this muddy scene.

Mark Twain is another, if he could be real and not in character. I think he had everything a good writer could be... craft, skill, depth, sense of humor, and an ability to repeat quality. He was no one-hit wonder.

Bill Watterson is a possibility, and still alive. He drew and wrote Calvin and Hobbes. Maybe Charles Schulz. I see both as genuine writers, not just quippests. Schulz took merchandising his characters to the hilt, but seemed to hold onto the quality of what his characters stood for.

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