December 10, 2006

Richard Hugo Rorschach Approach to Writing

So, I'm reading The Trigger Town, by Richard Hugo. "Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing," said with a British accent and head thrown back. And I'm thinking this guy seems a bit forced in the way he advocates writing in a way that's not forced. He asks his "reader" to imagine a town and to pretend they know nothing of town but what they see. He implies we need to get into that mode when writing on subjects with which we ARE familiar. OK.

But he goes on with an example:

"That silo, filled with chorus girls and grain"

OK. I'm thinking, it's ... a bit forced. Then, I read his words, "I just said that line (Reader: Don't get smart. I actually did just write this down in the first darft of this.)" OK. don't get defensive...

Call me a skeptic. But I'm thinking, "He might do better to advise keeping one's ego out of their writing." He advises a "bare your soul" approach to writing.

I can't help but think his blurting phrase above reads like a Rorschach test. "So Dick, got "silos" and "chorus girls" on your mind? Sit down. Maybe you'd like to talk about this."

Yea, you can see the analyst now. I guess that's one approach to writing. I's sure the CIA would love it if everyone would indulge in that activity.... might keep the Secret Service working on overtime given the angst people feel inside about our current president.

Enough said. I suppose, sometimes, it's helpful to engage in Rorschach writing; particularly if suffering writer's block.

* In World War II, Richard Hugo served as a bombardier in the Mediterranean. Hugo flew thirty-five combat missions and reached the rank of first lieutenant before leaving the service in 1945. Gotta give him credit for that.

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