Chance Encounter Blog

hemingway

i read hemingway's 'a moveable feast' while in austria, mostly because it is a neat little volume and i was traveling light, but also because last month my friend brian knep, who is a visual artist, told me about hemingway's six-word story, after which i began writing little 2-4 minute solo pieces with six-word titles.

but in any case, hemingway had some things to tell me that were serendipitous. about the salutary artistic effects of overhearing things:

"I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say."

and about gleaning things across disciplines and using them in the artistic process (which i so often to with writing, and he clearly did with painting):

"I was learning something from the painting of Cezanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone. Besides it was a secret."