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From: Patri10629@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v026.n017
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 13:17:33 EDT


All this speculation about Wolfe "speeding through," "making it up as he goes 
along," "backfilling mistakes," "multiple drafts," "no idea where it's going" 
are, in my opinion fruitless. How a writer gets to where he's going doesn't 
matter. Nobody knows which corner Picasso started in, how many sketches he 
had to do before the final "draft", which mistakes he covered over, which 
mistakes were happy accidents. It doesn't tell you anything about the book to 
know which order the author wrote it in, what pencils he used, if he was 
drunk or sober, or having a bad or good day, or had previously named a 
character "Benjie" before he became "Bob." And while we may be curious about 
Wolfe's methods (as I am), I'm doubtful any insights we may learn will be 
useful to me as a writer or a reader. Or will be relevant to the text. Who 
cares how he got there? Let's talk about the "there.' That's slippery enough.

Don't mean to sound cranky. I've just sensitive to discussions with implied 
value judgments based on moonshine theories of methodology. "Planned and 
plotted" or "just babbling along," can never be the issue. It's magic, don't 
you think? Who cares how the wizard does it?

Patrick O'Leary

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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