dimanche 30 octobre 2011
Edith Wharton, HUDSON RIVER BRACKETED, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929, 536 pages.
But gradually a luminous point emerged out of the enveloping fog. "Newspaper won't help you," Frenside had said; and Vance was suddenly aware that the dictum chimed with his own deep inward conviction. It had always seemed to him that newspapers, as he knew them, were totally unrelated to literature as he had always dreamded of it, and as he now knew that it existed. Yet was Frenside right - was he himself right? Everyone always said: "Nothing like newspaper work as a training if a fellow wants to write. Teaches you not to waste time, to go straight to the point, to put things in a bright snappy way that won't bore people..." Ugh, how he hated all the qualities thus commended! What a newspaper man like Bunty Hayes, for instance, would have called wasting time seemed to Vance one of the fundamental needs of the creative process. He could not imagine putting down on paper anything that had not risen slowly to the verge of his consciousness, that had not to be fished for and hauled up with infinite precauttions from some secret pool of being as to which he knew nothing yet but the occasional leap, deep down in it, of something alive but invisible... And this Frenside, whom he did not like, whose manner offended him, whose views awoke his instinctive antagonism, had yet, in that one phrase, summed up his own obscure feeling. "Buckle down and write"; yes - he had always felt that to be the only way. But to do it a fellow must be quiet, must have enough to eat, must be fairly free from material anxieties; and how was he to accomplish that? he didn't know - but he was so grateful for the key word furnished by Frenside that nothing else seemed much to matter; not the disparagement of his poems, the shrug at his novel, or the assumption that his aspirations were bound to be exactly like those of any other young fool who presented himself to an editor with a first bundle of manuscript.