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By Joyce Carol Oates

The magazine of Joyce Carol Oates, edited by means of Greg Johnson, deals a unprecedented glimpse into the personal recommendations of this outstanding author, concentrating on excerpts written in the course of probably the most efficient a long time of Oates's lengthy profession. excess of only a day-by-day account of a writer's writing existence, those intimate, unrevised pages candidly discover her friendship with different writers, together with John Updike, Donald Barthelme, Susan Sontag, Gail Godwin, and Philip Roth. It provides a desirable portrait of the artist as a tender lady, totally engaged together with her international and her tradition, on her method to turning into some of the most revered, commemorated, mentioned, and arguable figures in American letters.

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More of a problem each year, far easier when I first began to write, because then it seemed I hadn’t so much latitude, didn’t know so much, hadn’t so much experience or awareness of others. The development of a kind of “anecdotal” short story, lighthearted surrealism of the kind Barthelme writes, made to fit the contours of magazines that publish little fiction and then only rather short fiction— when one has written a story like this, what satisfaction is there? It fades, evaporates, it is only a tissue of words, connected by the intensity, the fe* D.

The assassination of Kennedy: an event no one who lived through it, no one with any sensitivity, will ever quite transcend. The burden of my writing, of the novels. Those who lived through the death of a President . . a kind of original sin . . though we are helpless, blameless, far distant from the actual scene of. . The Assassins: A Book of Hours. Most difficult, teasing novel. Drains all energies to it, so that the effort of typing over a poem is too much: have actually postponed typing two or three tiny poems for weeks—not like me.

Working constantly, for love of what he does, for—I gather—not very much money. )—so one need not worry. And then, too, magazines are generally not reviewed as books are. The editors provide a structure in which others are presented. Being an editor is agreeable in a way 1974 37 that being a writer is not always, for one’s own writing is the presentation, and one cannot be dissociated from it . . though of course all art is a “gift” to the culture, and the artist is ultimately detached from it.

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