Archive | April, 2014

Tako govori «Gabo» Markes

19 Apr

Život nije ono što je čovek proživeo, već ono što se čovek seća i kako se seća da bi ga ispričao. (Uvodne reči iz knjige memoara Živeti da bi se ispričalo.)

Ako prestanem da pišem umreću.

Dobar pisac više baca u korpu nego što objavljuje. Ako redovno baca, on je na pravom putu.

Kad sedneš da pišeš moraš da želiš da budeš bolji od Servantesa. Nećeš biti, ali to je istinski podsticaj.

Suština pripovedanja nije ono što je istinito, nego ono što izgleda istinski. Tu je ta lepota.

Pisci uobičavaju da pišu svoje memoare kada se već ničega ne sećaju. Moji neće biti hronološki već tematski; počevši od dana kada sam zaista rođen – dana kad sam odlučio da budem pisac.

Sranje! Moja baba je isto tako pričala. Znači i tako se može. Ako je to baš tako, onda me pisanje interesuje. (Nakon što je pročitao Kafkinu Metamorfozu koju je na španski preveo Horhe Luis Borhes.)

U Parizu sam naučio da ništa, čak ni glad, ne može da ubije sanjarenja i da čovek može da spava pod mostovima.

Vreme će da potvrdi da će Hemingvej, slabiji pisac, da zaseni mnoge velike pisce zbog svog razumevanja ljudske motivacije i zbog tajni spisateljskog zanata.

Hteo sam da ostavim poetički zapis o svetu mog detinjstva koji sam proživeo, uz nešto tuge, u velikoj kući, sa sestrom koja je jela zemlju, babom koja je pogađala budućnost i s mnogobrojnim rođacima koji su imali ista imena i koji nikada nisu pravili veliku razliku između sreće i ludosti. (O Sto godina samoće.)

Tokom sveg tog vremena dok sam pisao moje prethodne knjige, osećao sam da je nešto nedostajalo, ali nisam znao šta. Samo sam znao da sam hteo da stvorim freske generacija jedne familije u kojima bi se sve dogodilo. (O Sto godina samoće.)

Skoro svi moji karakteri su sastavljeni od delova različitih ljudi i, zaista, uključuju i delove mene. (O Sto godina samoće..)

Karibe su me naučile da prihvatim elemente natprirodnog kao deo svakodnevnog života, da vidim iza očigledne stvarnosti.

Proveo sam dobar deo života preskakajući prepreke koje su pokušavale da me onemoguće da budem pisac. Čak i kad sam postao punopravan pisac, i dalje sam morao da zarađujem kao novinar, pisac reklama, filmskih scenarija.

Kad završim knjigu, ona prestaje da me interesuje. Kako je rekao Hemingvej, to je mrtav lav.

Bacio sam hiljade listova papira dok sam stigao do finalne verzije Hronike. To se stalno ponavlja. Priča od petnaest strana utroši 800 listova. (O Hronici najavljene smrti.)

Pisac uvek mora da piše.

Izdavači moraju da mi plate do poslednje pare koju su mi zakidali dok sam bio mlad.

Hoću da čitaoci nastavljaju da zamišljaju junake knjiga baš onako kako su ih zamislili dok su čitali. U filmu gledalac ne može da zamisli junaka onako kako on hoće, već jedino kako se vidi na platnu.

Princip koji sam sebi kao piscu nametnuo jeste samokritika. Revizija moga rada pruža mi zadovoljstvo.

Kad sednem da napišem prvu rečenici ja već imam u glavi čitavo delo. Takođe moram, pre nego što počnem, da znam imena svih junaka u priči. Posle toga ona teče bez problema.

 

SAVETI ZA PISCE

Nema ničeg goreg nego produžavati priču. Ako ne možeš da ispričaš priču na jednoj strani, ili ima nečeg suvišnog ili je nešto nedostaje.

Ne bi trebao da pišeš o nečemu o čemu nemaš pojma ili da ga lično ne osećaš.

Moraš da veruješ originalnoj ideji koja te je pobudila; ako ti se obraća lično, najverovatnije da nešto sadrži.

Čak i kada svi veruju da je nešto dobro, morao bi da izraziš sumnju. To nije lako. Ali ako primetiš da nešto ne funkcioniše u priči, nezgrapna struktura, kontradiktorni karakter junaka, ulazi u digresiju… dobro, moraš da je pocepaš, čak i ako ti to slomi srce.

Kad započneš priču ne možeš sebi da dozvoliš da te suprotne ideje skreću s kursa: mi ili branimo našu priču ili se prepustimo iskušenjima da je pretvorimo u neku drugu.

Moraš da znaš gde leži granica uverljivog, a ona je šira nego što možeš da zamisliš. Kao igra šaha. Ustanoviš s gledaocima – ili čitaocima – pravila igre. Dokle god su ta pravila prihvaćena, ona ne mogu da se menjaju. Ako pokušaš da ih promeniš u sred igre, protivnik to neće prihvatiti.

Unutar priče moraš da ustanoviš kategorije, kao u boksu. Moraš uvek da radiš na tvojim projektima kao da su teška kategorija, kao da moraju da imaju udarac boksera teške kategorije.

Nema stvarnog kreiranja bez reskiranja, doze neizvesnosti. Ja nikad ne čitam svoje knjige nakon što su objavljene, jer se plašim da pronađem nedostatke koji su promakli. Kad vidim broj prodatih primeraka i hvale kritičara, plašim se da otkrijem da oni nisu u pravu, kritičari i čitaoci, i da je knjiga u stvari sranje… Ova doza nesigurnosti je užasna, ali istovremeno potrebna da bi se stvorilo nešto vredno. Arogantni koji sve znaju, koji nikada ne sumnjaju, strmoglavljuju su u smrt.

Izmišljanje stvarnosti nema granica, ali ostaješ vrlo brzo bez dramatičnih situacija. Postoje samo tri velike dramatične situacije: Život, Ljubav i Smrt. Sve ostale su deo ove tri.

 

NAJBOLJE ZANIMANJE NA SVETU (o novinarstvu)

Izveštavanje je priča o nečemu što se dogodilo. Literarna vrsta dodeljena novinarstvu u kojoj ti moraš da budeš pripovedač posvećen istini.

Kao izveštač možeš da pišeš šta hoćeš, ali uz dva uslova: da pišeš uverljivo i da u svojoj savesti znaš da je to što pišeš istinito.

Novinarstvo je mehaničko; ima šrafova i matica čiju upotrebu moraš da naučiš. Moraš da imaš profesionalni ponos.

Moraš da veruješ u ono što radiš. Novinarska dosada je čitalačka dosada.

Ovih dana redakcije su uglavnom laboratorije za usamljene navigatore gde je izgleda lakše da se komunicira s kretanjima zvezda nego s srcima čitalaca. Redakcije su danas galopirajuća dehumanizacija na poslu.

Novinarstvo je zamka. Ko je zaista uhvaćen u nju, nikada ne može da se oslobodi.


Izbor i prevod Milan Balinda – Odlomak iz knjige u progresu “Nobelovac iz Makonda (Sve o Gabrijelu Garsiji Markesu)”.

 

Gilbert King on how to win a Pulitzer Prize

16 Apr

Gilbert King went from writing about Mr. Potato Head to crafting an award-winning story about racial injustice.
By Susan Kushner Resnick | Published: September 9, 2013

Slika Last year, I sent out a request on Facebook asking experienced writers to share advice with my undergraduate writing students. A few snarky responses appeared first: Go to law school; get comfortable with a life of poverty. Then Gilbert King weighed in.

“Work. Read. Work. Think. Work. Write. Work. Connect. Work. Pitch. Same as always,” he wrote.

I didn’t know King well. We had met on the light rail ride to the Miami Book Fair International that fall, just two unknown middle-aged writers on our way to sit on panels we hoped someone would attend. We talked about our nonfiction books, journalism experiences and the pitfalls of publicity. I was a bit intimidated when I learned that his nonfiction book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America had been published by HarperCollins and touched that an author of such apparent esteem hadn’t scanned my badge before deciding whether to spare a smile. It turns out his behavior was a direct reflection of his career philosophy, which has nothing to do with chasing fame.

“Work. Read. Work….” he typed onto Facebook a couple of months later.

Then he won the Pulitzer Prize.

Do it for yourself.

This isn’t a story about a nice guy finishing first, although that trope certainly fits. It’s about a writer who chose to do the work that made him proud rather than trying to please others, and deciding to be a writer rather than a Writer. Victory just happened to follow.

“When this book came out, sales were very modest,” King said during an interview from his Manhattan apartment. “I said, ‘OK, I’ll be one of those guys who’s really pleased with the book he’s written. And if that’s that, that’s fine.’ I can’t control the other things, but I definitely controlled what I put on paper. And I was happy.”

Devil in the Grove tells the true story of four young black men falsely accused of rape in a Florida citrus town and the treacherous events that follow their 1949 imprisonments. It includes an evil sheriff, heroic lawyers, including future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and citizens who are both brave and cowardly. The Pulitzer committee called it “a richly detailed chronicle of racial injustice.”

King just wanted to give voice to people he admired.

“I grew up in suburban upstate New York, so none of this stuff was on my radar. I had no background or academic interest in this stuff. My interest has always been about underdogs and storytelling. If I look back at the books I used to read and still read, they’re all about people who have odds stacked against them. I don’t think there’s anything that represents that more than young African American lawyers in the 1940s who are just trying to get a clean, fair shake in the court system and what they’re up against.”

Besides honoring those men, King hoped to sell enough books to convince future editors that he was worthy of their commitment. He never dreamed of collecting a Pulitzer.

“To me, the Pulitzer Prize was something other people got,” he said. “I remember having a thought about this a few months ago. I saw someone who had won one, and I remember thinking, ‘How do you even win a Pulitzer Prize? How does that happen?’”

Not a surprising thought for someone who didn’t even consider himself a writer until a few years ago, despite decades of publishing experience.

Slika

One sweet potato!

 

King started his career by not getting his English degree from the University of South Florida. He was two math credits shy of graduating when he decided that following his girlfriend to Greenwich Village sounded more appealing. There he worked for a phone bank, tried stand-up comedy on open mic nights and took on some freelance writing assignments.

 

“I wrote about boxing for Ring Magazine,” he said. “I think I got $50 an article. I wrote feature articles for newspapers like the San Diego Union-Tribune. I’d written for baseball-card magazines, too. Eventually, I got a job editing a very small sports magazine where I wrote most of the stories myself. I had to use a lot of pseudonyms because the publisher wanted it to look like we had an actual staff. This was very low budget publishing.”

 

He didn’t write much after finding work as an associate photo editor for a now-defunct health magazine. There he did “the most mundane things a 21- or 22-year-old kid can do,” such as filing slides and tagging along on photo shoots, but he also fell in love with photography. For the next 15 years, he worked on his technique and became increasingly sought after as a fashion photographer. His clients included VogueMarie Claire, Elle, L’Oreal and Redken.

 

His writing and photo skills merged when a friend asked for a favor. He’d shot some coffee-table books, including one on antique bicycles. When the writer originally hired to do the copy dropped out, the friend asked King to write the text, too.

 

“I met my deadline, everything was acceptable and they started hiring me for other coffee-table books,” he said.

 

King also began ghostwriting for people who were prominent in their fields but weren’t inclined to write the books their names went on. Although he can’t reveal the identities of his clients, his dozen or so book assignments included writing introductions on authors included in an anthology, writing a book to accompany a documentary film, and penning a 32-page biography of Mr. Potato Head. The publisher surprised King by printing his byline on the cover of Mr. Potato Head Celebrating 50 Years of One Sweet Potato!, which lead to his first book signing: an appearance at a New Jersey library celebrating the toy’s anniversary.

 

“I was writing the book based on publicity materials from Hasbro, to go into a kit. I did it in a day,” King said.

 

While he didn’t learn much about artful writing through such assignments, he built relationships through his professionalism and reliability. One such connection would lead to his Pulitzer-winning work.

 

Got ideas?

 

A publisher he frequently worked with asked if King had any of his own ideas, telling him that as a regular writer for the publishing house, he could probably get a contract fairly easily. When King neglected to propose anything, the editor berated him.

 

“I’m giving you the opportunity to come up with your own ideas!” he said to King before handing him one.

 

The two were working on a book about crime when the publisher came across a tidbit on Willie Francis, a young black man who had survived the electric chair. The publisher asked King if he thought there was a book in the story, then sent him to find out. The result was a contract with Chamberlain Brothers, a Penguin imprint, to write what would become The Execution of Willie Francis.

 

Until this point, King wouldn’t have called himself a writer.

 

“It didn’t really seem much like writing,” he said of his work-for-hire jobs. “I probably saw it more as doing a service.”

 

Writing and researching Willie changed that.

 

“It was much more personal to me. I was making a lot of narrative choices, taking longer, thinking of how to make a story,” he said.

 

Then, as if the gods of writing knew he’d arrived, they sent a classic publishing disappointment as a welcome gift: His publisher folded before he’d finished the book.

 

When no one else at Penguin wanted it, he decided it was time to find a literary agent. Instead of sending letters to potential agents, he made a website and trailer for the book and sent it to more than 30 agents. About 10 got back to him right away and wanted to see pages. One of them, Farley Chase, asked to meet him the next day. Their first project was writing a proposal for the book that was already three-quarters finished. Farley sold it to Basic Civitas books, a Perseus imprint specializing in African American literature.

 

Willie came out in 2008, earning good reviews and not-so-good sales figures. While he researched it, he discovered NAACP letters referring to the Groveland case. His agent warned him it would be hard to sell another book of African American history by a white author, but he sent it out anyway. Thirty-five publishers passed before Harper Studio took the book. Then the gods noticed King again.

 

Harper Studio was an experiment. The business model involved balancing small advances with profit sharing for authors.

 

“They were going to be ahead of the curve and really focus on social media and marketing and use them as sort of a new way of looking at book promotions,” he said. “And I was really excited to be part of them. Number one, my book had been rejected by so many places that they were like the only ones who really wanted me. But it was like this young family starting out, saying ‘We’re gonna do things a little differently.’ It was really kind of sweet.”

Slika 

Sweet, but not successful. Harper Studio published most of the books on the original list before failing.

“I think I was the last unpublished book,” King said. “I was actually really nervous. ‘I’m the guy with the African American history book. This is gonna be cancelled.’”

But his editor believed in the book and convinced a HarperCollins editor to take it on. King saw the reprieve as a gift.

Going for broke.

Considering his prior publishing luck and feeling he could have been looking at his last book contract, he decided to put all of his energy into Devil. Although he was still doing photography and ghostwriting to pay the bills, he also used the income to fund his research when his advance ran out. He knew he could return to that work if the book failed.

“This was really the first time I just felt I poured my heart into a book,” he said. “I didn’t even see a lot of commercial potential in it. I just really was trying to do the best job I could. In the end, you just hope it comes together. I didn’t have any expectations of commercial success because I had no experience with that.”

When he finished the book after four years of work, he had no regrets: “I didn’t wish I’d had more time. I didn’t think I could have done anything differently.”

But that didn’t mean he wasn’t worried.

He’d made a conscious decision early in the process to focus on building a book rather than a platform. He didn’t see how his “run of the mill” blog posts would boost sales, he gave up on Twitter after a few days and he realized the only marketing thing he had going for him was “to write good books.” After delivering the manuscript, however, he worried that even his best work might not have been enough. Maybe, he thought, he had to be a marketing expert, too.

Besides paying a college student $15 an hour to set up some events in Florida, where the book takes place, he had no marketing plan. As with his first serious book, Devil received good reviews but little media attention. Some of his readings were well attended, while some were empty houses.

King began to think maybe narrative nonfiction wasn’t for him.

“I realized: OK, I’ve given this part of the business my best shot, and I was ready to start something new.”

The mystery writers he met at book events seemed to be having more fun, so he started looking into how to write and market mysteries. He was looking forward to it.

HarperCollins may not have minded his genre switch at that point. They were preparing to remainder Deviland had written him a letter asking if he wanted to buy discounted copies before pulping began.

“After Devil in the Grove had been out for a few months, it was clear to me that although the reviews were very good, not a lot of people were reading it,” he said. “I accepted that. I hoped President Obama would be photographed reading it on the beach at Martha’s Vineyard, but I also realized that I was hoping for a minor miracle. Still, that seemed far more likely to me than winning the Pulitzer Prize.”

Then came the famous text.

“Dude. Pulitzer.”

King was golfing with a friend from high school when his phone buzzed. The message read, “Dude. Pulitzer.” and included a link to the winners. King was friendly with fiction winner Adam Johnson, so he thought the texter was alerting him to Johnson’s win.

“I’m reading it and thought, ‘This is great. He won the Pulitzer.’ And then literally in the second sentence it said for nonfiction, Devil in the Grove. I thought one of my friends had played a joke on me. I showed it to my friend and said, ‘Is this real?’ He started reading it and said, ‘God, it looks like it is.’ Right after that, my cell phone started exploding.”

Since winning the Pulitzer, King has been profiled by The New York Times and received many requests to speak and to blurb books. Lionsgate has picked up the film rights to the book. In the meantime, King has completed his last ghostwriting assignment, although he wants to continue shooting for a few photography clients. He also writes a Past Imperfect blog post twice a month for Smithsonian Magazine website. And he’s toying with a few ideas for his next book. It won’t be fiction because the Pulitzer renewed King’s faith in his future as a nonfiction writer. But whatever he writes next will be done with the same attitude he brought toDevil.

“I think if you write, you have to think that anything’s possible,” he said. “If you’re pleased with your work, there’s always a chance that other people might feel the same.”

————————————-

5 Writing Tips by Gilbert King

  1. Do what works for you. Starting a project is a daunting task. Serious writers are supposed to keep index cards with character details, big outlines taped to walls, and lots of stickies everywhere. I recently found a dozen index cards for all the major characters from Devil in the Grove. Sadly, they were in a pile under a jar of coins with nothing but names on them. I never wrote an outline, either. The idea of spending any time on one gave me a headache. What I did do was think about the story constantly, in a very visual way, almost like a movie, until I had a narrative structure in my head. Then I started to write, but I had long lists of thoughts, notes, and sources for each chapter. Those lists worked well for me. Do what works.
  2. Tell anyone who’ll listen what you’re working on. This is a great motivator. Who wants to show up at a party and admit to friends that the book wasn’t working, or that things were just too busy at work? No one wants to hear that. They want to be excited about your book because you’re excited. Tell people about your story and make it sound fascinating. Then you’ll feel obligated to produce something. And it’s great practice for later, once you’re trying to sell it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to change course.
    Sometimes new research will open up different roads for you to travel down. Characters may become more intriguing, or take on a more vital role in your story. The structure of the story you’re trying to tell may need to change. Things become messier, you’ll have grave doubts about the quality of your work, and you may even lament the fact that you never did an outline. You’re probably wrong. Just keep going.
  4. Get serious with your editing and rewriting. This is where your story needs to come together, and this process can be more grueling than the writing itself. I try to pay more attention to transitions and pacing at this point. Refining the beginnings and ends of chapters. I love my research, but I try to be careful about adding too much detail and description.
    As Elmore Leonard famously said, “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” That’s actually a lot harder than it sounds, but it may be the best advice I’ve ever read.
  5. It’s still your story. Just because you may write narrative nonfiction doesn’t mean that you’re restricted by facts or chronology. You still get to make choices in the story you’re trying to tell. The end of Devil in the Grove presented certain timeline problems that gave me trouble for months. It wasn’t until I decided that I wanted this violent story to end in a moving and hopeful way that I finally figured out how to do it. I wanted Thurgood Marshall alive at the end. I could have closed out the book in a dozen different, more traditional ways. Once I made the decision about how I wanted the end to feel, I had to do a lot of additional research, going through years of Marshall’s papers and correspondence. Eventually, I found a letter that Thurgood Marshall had received about 20 years after the Groveland case when he was on the Supreme Court. That letter effectively tied everything together for me, and it enabled me to bookend the story in a way that, I think, captures the beauty and power of Thurgood Marshall’s spirit.

Susan Kushner Resnick is the author of three books of creative nonfiction including You Saved Me, Too and Goodbye Wifes and Daughters. She teaches creative writing at Brown University.

 

 

 

 

13.04. The secret garden

13 Apr

Šta da slušam danas

Muziku je napisao Zbigniew Preisner.

t_8903

Na današnji dan

13.04.1944. godine umrla je francuska kompozitorka Cécile Chaminade.

Uživaj!

Saša

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11.04. Nera: Miloš Petrović trio

11 Apr

Šta da slušam danas

Na današnji dan

11.04.1916. godine rođen je argentinski kompozitor Alberto Ginastera.

Uživaj!

Saša

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