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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Writing from Experience
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0453  Monday, 15 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 09:34:23 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 10:04:24 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience

[3]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 08:38:34 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Mar 1999 09:24:08 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0441 Re: Shakespeare in Love

[5]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Saturday, 13 Mar 1999 13:29:22 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 09:34:23 -0800
Subject: Re: Writing from Experience
Comment:        SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience

Gabriel Egan wrote:

>Let us suppose for a moment that Hughes's claim in granted. Does that
>mean science fiction cannot be among "the best art" because the writer
>has not been to distance galaxies? If what is great about great science
>fiction is how experiences lived on Earth are shown to be applicable
>elsewhere in the universe, the entire genre need not exist and SF
>writers might as well about life on Earth.

In my Friday post, under the subject Shakespeare in Love - which is
where this discussion began - readers missed a paragraph that I cut
before sending.  My original rebuttal to Ms. Hughes used sonnet
sequences as an example.  Since most of them are not autobiographical,
it seemed to fit.  Then I thought of Hamlet captured by pirates and a
lot of other things.  All but autobiographical fiction is outside an
author's experience, just as sci-fi is outside of an author's
experience.

I cut my paragraph because I felt I'd made a category error.  These
examples are not to the point.  One can maintain that an imaginative
artist will take their emotional experience and transform it into the
fiction of a sonnet sequence or put it on a space ship, and sometimes
one will be correct to do so.  Thus someone who agrees with Ms. Hughes
main point could still insist that Shakespeare experienced great grief,
and could therefore write Titus A, or that Ray Bradbury missed his
family, and could therefore write one of The Martian Chronicles.  I have
no reason to believe that either were true.  (Note the linguistic
gymnastics I go through not to put words in Ms. Hughes mouth.)

I don't think this approach really addresses Ms. Hughes point.  Finding
examples of moving art that was not deeply felt by the artist seems more
decisive.

With respect,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Mar 1999 10:04:24 -0800
Subject: 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0442 Re: Writing from Experience

Gabriel wrote:

>PS: There were a number of "scare quote" marks in this posting, but in
>the light of recent discussions I've realized that I don't know what
>they are for so I've removed them.

Good for you.  Scare quotes always remind me of the scene in paranoid
movies where someone, presumably from a government agency, flashes a
badge.  It doesn't matter if we can read what's on the badge, or figure
out why his being a member of the particular organization we can't
identify qualifies him in whatever's being discussed.  The badge, like
scare quotes, just imply that the author is far more sophisticated than
his readers.  They may take the words in quotation marks na

 

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