Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for April 16th, 2016

The art of rewriting

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Archibald MacLeish

There are always people coming up with the statement that they wrote such and such a poem or such and such poems, usually quite a number of them, right off, never changed a word. The minute you hear that you know the man is a) lying and doesn’t know what he is doing and b) that he’s probably no poet at all, because that just doesn’t happen…

Quite the contrary, because one finds in writing that it’s the meticulous labor of reworking which produces everything that’s good. Oh, there are a few things, what the French call données, that are put in your hand by God knows who, but very, very few…It’s the labor of rewriting—and rewriting isn’t really the right word for it; it’s sort of “again writing,” not rewriting—that signifies.

Archbald MacLeish, Reflections

Written by nevalalee

April 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

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