Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sal Paradise

For a mere $1,100 a month you can rent Jack Kerouac's birthplace and write your great American novel. At Superfight last night I had an interesting conversation with someone who noted that the gulf between art and anecdote is wide. At what point is a narrative taking on a life of its own? Kerouac, although faulted as being a "typewriter" by Truman Capote, excelled at turning his experiences into art. If objectivity is unattainable, wouldn't any attempt at writing prose be art? Not really, unless the craft involved pulls the reader in and immerses the reader in the experience. What causes immersion? Effective plot, believable dialogue, flashbacks, characterization, interesting description. The craft of writing brings a barebones story upward to another level. How effective the author was at his or her craft is another question. When critics disagree something new and important exists. Lowell, MA produced one of America's best storytellers.