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mac macgillicuddy

The story gets under way when he signs up for a seminar with a guru who diagnoses Ellis as having been "Californicated."

Thank you for writing "under way," which is correct, and not "underway," which we think is somehow related to unmentionables, though we aren't sure.

Matt

Great stuff. Looking forward to Part Deux.

Adam Daniel Mezei

I'm always fascinated by the process of how we begin to value our native writers and prose artistes scads more when we travel. I suppose this is part of the inexorable lure of being an "angel abroad," an expat writer, a member of our own lost generation, a resident of a Rive-Gauche (Left Bank) of our own making. With the wasted clear-cuts of stuff being published these days -- 2005 clocking in at a paltry 172,000 books, miniscule compared to the numbers of Americans registering themselves as "scribe" -- it's a right wonder the reading public even has a free moment for the classic greats: Vonnegut, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kosinski, Fallacci, Ludlum, Towne, et al. -- these are the writers of the so-called "almost-classics" of which Meeks talks about at length over your phonecall. With the loads of minutiae consuming our days, s/he who is "master of the paper chase" is master of all? Indeed, it comes with a price -- we begin to lose touch with what really matters as writers. In our rat-race chase to score an agent, get an editor to shine his/her countenance upon us, or get publishers to churn out pages of our stuff, we forget how simple it is to just connect two sentences together, to blend them smoothly and rhythmically with appropriate dialogue, resulting in a book, wonderful for its sheer lack of pretnsion. Meeks' experience in Denmark is emblematic of the gauntlet all us writers must eventually pass...we must all sometime find ourselves on forlorn islands of book-dearth, where the only titles to be found are secreted away on some foreign dusty shelf in a small house nestled on the placid shores of the Baltic Sea. In our attempts to outdo one another -- scribe against scribe -- it's best to remember those who "got there" on the persuasive strength of words, as Hemingway used to say, by writing "until it hurts." We have forgotten how to do that, much like we've forgotten how to sew. Too much to read. Too much to administer. Too many responsibilities. Our prose has suffered needlessly in the exchange. So why do we admire J.K. so much? Perhaps because she soars above it all, and isn't addled by the creep of commerce into the artform. Look Mack, I dunno, I'm by far the expert...

Though it did come to mind...

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