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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) Inside the Sausage Factory
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:29:23 

Patrick O'Leary, guarding the gate to the sausage factory, wrote:

> 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.

Gee, my original post in this vein was intended as a joke. I think I even
labeled it as such.  But seriously, folks...  This stuff _is_ interesting.  I
think it's even potentially interesting to writers.  Stephen Jay Gould writes
that it's very common in science to hide (or even be ashamed of) the path taken
to reach the wonderful theory; to make it look like the theory derived
inexorably from a cool dispassionate chain of logic. He scoffs. Science is
messy, and learning about the process by which the mess became the theory is
important.  Wolfe commits art, not science, of course, but the process is just
as interesting, at least to some of us.  Who is not fascinated to learn why
Michelangelo's _David_ stands in the posture he does, or why Leonardo's _Last
Supper_ is so deteriorated?

> It's magic, don't you think? Who cares how the wizard does it?

Well, actually, I do.  I care about it at the simplest level, which is
curiousity. I also care about it at the level of learning about craftsmanship,
which is the same thing that impels me to watch _New Yankee Workshop_, even
though I know I will never be a carpenter. I find books like _The Castle of the
Otter_ fascinating.

     Dave Lebling
     (aka vizcacha)

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

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