Le n.11 de la revue de mon ami Baptiste est paru ainsi que le dernier livre en date des Editions Wildproject: ARISTOCRATES SAUVAGES entretiens entre Gary Snyder et Jim Harrison
Gary Snyder (prix Pulitzer 1975) est un poète emblématique de la beat generation. Bouddhiste zen ayant vécu plus de dix ans au Japon, fondateur d’une communauté rurale toujours active dans la Sierra Nevada et militant de l’écologie radicale, Gary Snyder a placé la nature au centre de sa vie et de son œuvre. Il incarne la transition historique entre la contre-culture et la pensée écologiste.
Cette série d’entretiens autobiographiques, menée par son ami le romancier Jim Harrison, se déroule au milieu des montagnes de Santa Lucia, sur la côte Pacifique de la Californie. Ces deux géants de la littérature partagent et confrontent leurs conceptions du sauvage, du zen, de l’animalité et de la poésie. Avec une anthologie de poèmes de Gary Snyder, et une trentaine de photographies en noir et blanc.
Film documentaire “La Pratique sauvage” (52’) réalisé par John J. Healey (DVD offert)
Before he became a Professor of literature at Harvard, and way before he wrote his classic Shakespeare biography, Will in The World, Stephen Greenblatt was an I’ll-read-anything kind of kid. One day, he was standing in the campus book store, and there, in a bin, selling for ten cents,…
William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father was then working as a conductor on the railroad built by the novelist’s great-grandfather, Colonel William Falkner (without the “u”), author of The White Rose of Memphis. Soon the family moved to Oxford, thirty-five miles away, where young Faulkner, although he was a voracious reader, failed to earn enough credits to be graduated from the local high school. In 1918 he enlisted as a student flyer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He spent a little more than a year as a special student at the state university, Ole Miss, and later worked as postmaster at the university station until he was fired for reading on the job.
Encouraged by Sherwood Anderson, he wrote Soldier’s Pay (1926). His first widely read book was Sanctuary (1931), a sensational novel which he says that he wrote for money after his previous books—including Mosquitoes (1927), Sartoris (1929), The Sound and the Fury (1929), and As I Lay Dying (1930)—had failed to earn enough royalties to support a family.
A steady succession of novels followed, most of them related to what has come to be called the Yoknapatawpha saga: Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses, and Other Stories (1941). Since World War II his principal works have been Intruder in the Dust (1948), A Fable (1954), and The Town (1957). His Collected Stories received the National Book Award in 1951, as did A Fable in 1955. In 1949 Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Recently, though shy and retiring, Faulkner has traveled widely, lecturing for the United States Information Service.This conversation took place in New York City, early in 1956.
Mr. Faulkner, you were saying a while ago that you don’t like interviews.
The reason I don’t like interviews is that I seem to react violently to personal questions. If the questions are about the work, I try to answer them. When they are about me, I may answer or I may not, but even if I do, if the same question is asked tomorrow, the answer may be different.
How about yourself as a writer?
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us. Proof of that is that there are about three candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. But what is important is Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’sDream, not who wrote them, but that somebody did. The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn’t have needed anyone since.
But even if there seems nothing more to be said, isn’t perhaps the individuality of the writer important?
Very important to himself. Everybody else should be too busy with the work to care about the individuality.
And your contemporaries?
All of us failed to match our dream of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That’s why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course he won’t, which is why this condition is healthy. Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide. I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.
Is there any possible formula to follow in order to be a good novelist?
Ninety-nine percent talent … ninety-nine percent discipline … ninety-nine percent work. He must never be satisfied with what he does. It never is as good as it can be done. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
Do you mean the writer should be completely ruthless?
The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.
Then could the lack of security, happiness, honor, be an important factor in the artist’s creativity?
No. They are important only to his peace and contentment, and art has no concern with peace and contentment…