Monday, March 23, 2009

Malouf's Magic

In almost all writing, you've got to trust that what's getting said gets said before you know what you've said. It's not about knowing what you want to say and then getting it said.
David Malouf, arguably Australia's greatest living writer, turned 75 a couple of days back. He shares his thoughts about writing with Miriam Cosic in The Australian. I particularly liked this :
I want books to unfold as if they were dreams and even to have the logic of dreams ... I deliberately don't plan where the writing is going so that things can happen with the same unpredictability, with the same process of association rather than logical unfolding. That provides something for the reader as well: the reader has something like the same sense of discovery that the writer does. As a writer, discipline for me is to learn more and more how to fall quickly into that state.


Baronhawk said...

Shades of the Australian Aboriginal 'Dream Time' storytelling trance and maybe some Kerouac Method in it.

I dig this. Despite the fact that sometimes I prepare myself to write. Most of my writing for work or more creative tendencies comes from one single feeling, emotion, event, happening or fact that unlocks a torrential downpour that comes from somewhere other than logic.

Sometimes writing is more effective when it bypasses the active brain I suppose. Hmm... need to try that more.

Of course then the editing and the feared Editor steps in. Ha ha ha.

Maybe he is right. Well he is who he is. He must have done something right... "somewhere in [his] youth or childhood" (J.A. in S.o.M.).

Matt said...

i suppose im not being v original. in fact it may even be fashionable among a certain type of individual to find malouf slightly passee. then again, i did read s short story of his some time in the last two years. was i impressed? nah.