Author Archives: Andrew Oberg

You are not Your Work

In last week’s post we looked at some ideas of image, identity, and the importance and impact of labels and claims to labels. It can take a lot of courage, a lot of gumption, to call oneself a writer when all there is to show for the efforts put in are the drops of blood […]

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Self-image and Writing

Paul’s recently linked (via our Twitter account) BBC article on Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel was interesting not just for the human aspect side to the story (carrying the characters mentally with him for so long, a sudden epiphany, an eight month burst of creative fervor, etc.) but for what was claimed about the novel’s […]

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A Laser or a Searchlight?

Sometimes it flows out effortlessly, on and on and on, a wondrous river of sentences, a current of words, and sometimes – well, sometimes it just doesn’t. You know what I mean. Getting started on a new project of whatever length can either be the easiest and most instinctive thing in the world or it […]

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Dumping Your Detritus

A coming of age story set in Canada’s far north. A reporter who becomes embroiled in political intrigue and responds by having a monkey’s tail surgically attached to his lower spine. A depressed would-be something who struggles through his days making a living writing pornography scripts. A fully completed graphic novel that includes zero illustrations. […]

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Rehabilitating Nihilism

Nihilism is one of those terms that has lost its niche, a word whose associative network of concepts and symbolisms has gone adrift and failed to find a new mooring. In the popular imagination it used to be tightly aligned with anarchy, with revolutionary fervor, with a rejection of the entire established order of things, […]

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Seriousness

Artists, speaking generally and fairly stereotypically, tend to view their creative works in the long term. At least, this is the case amongst the people I’ve interacted with, and especially so for writers. Legacy is an issue for many, and the thought of their efforts “standing the test of time” or “being remembered” or remaining […]

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Story seeds, Planning, and Intuition

It’s happening again. The bug, the itch, the fever: you know what I mean. An idea has taken root, a seed has been planted, a tiny sliver of green has sprouted. A writing project, another one. Am I mad? I must be, I’ve only hardly finished my last and here I am jotting down notes […]

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Experiential Reading

Ezra Pound’s definition of poetry was that which cannot be paraphrased, and by defining it that way he added his considerable literary weight to the debate on the topic of form-content unity. By this definition he might in fact have started that debate, I don’t know and purely for reasons of unnecessary self-restraint will refrain […]

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There Is Only the Work

In carrying on with our recent theme of finding value in the doing (and on that, here too), consider the well known writer’s coping mechanism (or happy delusion, willful illusion, nighttime solace, etc. etc. and take your pick) of “famous when dead”. It has of course happened, and the historical examples are sufficiently numerous that […]

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Intrinsic Rewards

There’s a scene in the lead up to the climax of Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre where the Autodidact character – in this part of the novel essentially playing the foil to the lead character Antoine Roquentin, in whose first person perspective the book is written – reveals that he is a Socialist and that he […]

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