Friday, August 13, 2010

Moore Work (Pardon My Pun)

The work continues. I have had to give up on the whole writing-during-the day thing for a while. I've always worked better at night, but before the baby got here, I could make myself eek out a little work during the day. Now that Lucy Addison is here and demanding more and more of my daylight hours, I find that whatever daytime concentration I'd been able to muster in the past has now completely disappeared. After two weeks of trying to be the disciplined, dedicated writer who gets up and writes before her child is awake, I've had to resort to writing at night while she is asleep. The downside is that evenings are also the time when Steve is home. Oh well, I suppose we're must suffer for our art, right? And besides, it gives Steve a chance to play Red Dead Redemption, and, after all, we must have priorities. Video game banditos need love, too.

In addition to my creative work (I'm still plugging away on the old novella), I am also trying to finish up the books I'm reading for my critical paper this term. I believe I mentioned this before, but in case you're just tuning in, I am [planning on] writing my critical paper on non-linear narratives in twentieth century lit with female authors, and more specifically, Lorrie Moore. So far I have read, Self-Help, Anagrams, Like Life, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital, and I'm about half-way through Birds of America. After I finish it up, I will only have A Gate at the Stairs left to go.

So far, I am loving her work. Like Life was probably my least favorite thus far (and also the least related to my critical project), but I am IN LOVE with Self-Help and Anagrams. It is almost unfortunate that I am not writing my paper on her use of word play because, quite frankly, her word play is AMAZING! Not only does she do really subtle stuff in the narration, but her characters are very intelligent and witty, and they make hilarious puns and turns of phrase that resonate with so many layers of meaning. Wait a minute. Can layers resonate? So maybe the cold medicine is kicking in a bit...never mind me. Lorrie Moore's words, metaphors, connotations, and references are brilliant. I swear that if I went through her stuff with a flourescent highlighter marking every time she blew me away with her mastery of the English language, the books would glow in the dark.

Besides her word play, an aspect most impressive to me is her use of the second person in Self-Help. She manages to write successful second person stories that are also entertaining and moving - not just exercises in edginess. This is a feat I've rarely seen accomplished so elegantly - though Leslie Pietrzyk's "Ten Things" would also fall in that amazing second person story category.

Of course, all of these aspects, though very intriguing, have little to do with my paper, which is about non-linear narratives. She does do some pretty impressive things with her handling of time in her stories, and I look forward to exploring that in more depth. So thanks to Bob Olmstead for nudging me toward such an amazing writer.

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