Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Repetition with a difference

with 2 comments

Kenzaburō Ōe

I am the kind of writer who rewrites and rewrites. I am very eager to correct everything. If you look at one of my manuscripts, you can see I make many changes. So one of my main literary methods is “repetition with difference.” I begin a new work by first attempting a new approach toward a work that I’ve already written—I try to fight the same opponent one more time. Then I take the resulting draft and continue to elaborate upon it, and as I do so the traces of the old work disappear. I consider my literary work to be a totality of differences within repetition.

I used to say that this elaboration was the most important thing for a novelist to learn.

Kenzaburō Ōe, to The Paris Review

Written by nevalalee

November 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Yes. Revise, revise, revise. Then revise again. And when it’s finally done with, revise again.

    http://sbpra.com/robinhawdon

    November 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  2. Absolutely—as long as you don’t forget to send it off!

    nevalalee

    November 12, 2013 at 10:55 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: