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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006 10:54 am
Writing vs. Acting
Posted by: Keir Graff

The synchronicities continue. Last Thursday, I discussed the difference between writing and acting. Last Friday, I called the JT Leroy hoax “theater.” And in Robert Stone’s Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties, which I finished reading last night, he writes about a moment in 1958 when an acquaintance suggested he study acting. Stone was already considering a writing life, but wasn’t entirely sure of his ambitions:

Compared to the rocks, the shoals, the silent storms I knew were out there in the endless progression of empty rooms that were the writer’s inheritance, a life of performance seemed very attractive.

A bit further down he adds:

The urge toward performance, an urge to risk winning the love of an audience or face its scorn then and there had much to recommend it, compared with the solitary struggle to believe in the power of what I could summon from my own silence.

To Michael Laser, the who wrote the Salon piece lamenting his lack of critical validation: compared to an endless progression of empty rooms, two bad reviews almost seems like a day off.


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