Sunday, November 30, 2008

Charlie Baxter

"For the last three hundred years or so, prose writers have, from time to time, glanced over in the direction of the poets for guidance in certain matters of life and writing. Contemplating the lives of poets, however, is a sobering activity. It often seems as if poets have extracted pity and terror from their work so that they could have a closer firsthand experience of these emotions in their own lives...Prose writers, however, are no better. ...Fiction writers cluster in the unlit corners of the room, silently observing everybody, including the poets, who are usually having a fine time in the center spotlight, making a spectacle of themselves as they eat the popcorn and drink the beer and gossip about other poets..."

from Charlie Baxter's essay "Rhyming Action" in Burning Down The House, 1997.

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