❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Why Write? Author Mark Edmundson – Motyourdrive.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 288 pages
  • Why Write?
  • Mark Edmundson
  • 21 October 2018
  • 9781632863058

15 thoughts on “Why Write?

  1. says:

    Yeah, this is about as white and male as you can get The women are a bit of an afterthought in fact, very often, he ll add and women and you can practically see him blinking at his desk and hurriedly scrawling that in He mentions Mary Shelley, he mentions Woolf, and retells Rebecca Solnit s idiot in Aspen story very obviously without naming her why because he then tries to imply that she was exaggerating Rebecca Solnit is a far better writer than Edmundson, although I did like Teacher Oh, and he likes Franzen All that aside, he says exactly what you need to feel a bit better realistically about what you re doing and why you re doing it I m glad I read it.


  2. says:

    Enjoyed this Reminded me of so many of my college professors Very smart Very well written Also very white and male, and a touch elitist Women both the authors he cited and the writers he was addressing seem like an afterthought Still, he got me Would have given it 3.5 stars if that was an option, but couldn t stomach 3.I enjoyed it too much Damn these professors and their wily ways.


  3. says:

    Despite the chapter on reviews, perhaps designed to discourage reviewing, I will share some thoughts about this book Overall, it encourages anyone to write though some of the reasons that serve as chapter titles are small minded than others or than I would choose I did wonder if the subtitle was the publisher s idea although it s so academic to have the obligatory colon subtitle , because it reminded me of the trend in clickbait titles that never really live up to the promise it didn t seem like a Master Class on the Art of Writing Aside from Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, not many women writers were mentioned or given much time or seen as funny, etc, the way white male English writing authors were It was kind of fun to realize he might have gone to Tufts with his discussion of azul azul learned in the Hillside section of Medford Ronna Johnson could learn a thing or two about Melville from this book Oh wait, is that my own small minded wish for revenge creeping in, wink wink Anyway, the book gets better as it goes on I m self conscious again of reviewing it and the chapter does consider the idea of saving one s time money, reminding me of the only two movies I d ever seen and been appalled at having wasted the time money one with good reviews , so I should say simply, though parts of the middle were rather sleep inducing, in the end it was a plus to have read this book.


  4. says:

    This is a thorough and meditative look at writing and it s purposes, written incredibly well and with lots of consideration of the purposes and reasons of writing You can tell Edmundson is a teacher, and likely a very good one, with interesting, humorous lectures He is definitely a man of his era and of the canon, using examples of mid century postmodernists mostly those tome writing white men like Mailer, Bellow, etc and those classic romantics Keats, Whitman, Yeats, etc


  5. says:

    This is, without a doubt, the most pretentious thing I ve read in my entire life Oh dear God is it pretentious Hence the lower rating However I did like some of the ideas that Edmundson put forth there were a couple of chapters that I didn t mind for a while, and I think someone that had a grand idea of what a magic life changer writing is would get a lot out of this than I did But I m in the dude, writing is so much fun that s why I do it camp, so this book for me Didn t quite do it all of the time Sometimes Sometimes I could nod and be like, Yeah, that s a good idea set of words view on this subject but that was greatly outnumbered by the times I would just have to laugh at how pretentious and like elevated most of his diction and his ideas were.


  6. says:

    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways This is a 3.5 star book In general there are no great reviews and there are no great reviewersToo many reviews are studies in resentment They condense the rancor of the reviewer who cannot write and calm the envy of those who wish to write and cannot Well then, this review must be taken with a grain of salt or two, or three I am not a writer nor do I wish to write but, rather like the friend of the author mentioned in an early chapter, I do at times wish to have written.The To Get Even chapter is not as good as some of the others but that may reflect the author s feeling towards the topic after all, even if revenge is the driving force for some writers, they would probably be somewhat reticent to admit to such a base motivation, as Edmundson himself appears reticent Most of the other chapters are better although the reader can be excused for feeling that he or she is not really a real reader since Edmundson, like most of those who write about writing or reading or letters will happily name drop writers left and write, though thankfully not to the level of superfluity that some do However, the To Read as a Writer chapter is wonderful, though that may be because, having loved reading since I was young myself, I fully connect with Edmundson when he talks about the joys of early reading There was such appreciativeness of and clear love for reading in that chapter that now I want to read Edmundson s other book, Why Read And this despite the fact that Edmundson loses some major points in my book by calling Sense and Sensibility not quite readablethough almost I know lots of readers prefer Emma over Sense and Sensibility and I have long since accepted that they and I will have to agree to disagree but Mansfield Park Over Sense and Sensibility Not quite readable Compared to Mansfield Park Don t get me wrong, I like Mansfield Park just fine and think it s better than Persuasion and most definitely better than Northanger Abbey but there s no way I would rate it over Sense and Sensibility The fact that Edmundson does so makes me wonder if he has not quite taken leave of his senses It should be noted that the subtitle of this book is a bit deceptive this is not really A Master Class on the Art of Writing , that is, this book will not tell you how to write, it simply and only talks about why to write, or rather, why some people do write It may be a good book if you are a writer who has perhaps hit writer s block and you re thinking to yourself Why am I putting myself through this torture again Or, if like me, you have or have had grand notions of having written but without ever putting pen to paper or in this day and age, fingers to keyboard and no sign or clear notion that you ever will It s a good look into the motivations behind writing but that by itself is not enough to make you a writer It s a bit like reading books about books or adding every book that s ever been recommended, directly or indirectly, to your to read list or deciding to follow a famous booklist such as The New Lifetime Reading Plan The Classic Guide to World Literature, Revised and Expanded or Great Books of the Western World the intention may be there and you may feel a bit better about yourself afterwards but you ve not actually made any progress towards the end goal whatsoever.


  7. says:

    Star One Accessibility and book length.Star Two Chapter TitlesStar Three Sweet sayings sprinkled throughout this dessert of words such as an Ann Marlowe quote of, If I had to offer up a one sentence definition of addiction, I d call it a form of mourning for the irrecoverable glories of the first time Star Four The gold nugget simply stated on page 120 Writing is its own reward absent Star Five In order to access these pages to the point where a typical aspiring hack can stumble upon enough kindle to light the fire under his ass, a reader must protect his head That is from all of the literary names dropping down from the sky, enough pompous precipitation to make for another dead bookmark, buried forever in an unfinished manuscript But if the less well read than a professor reader can humble himself to reach the end, many tasty word vittles will be enjoyed Hi lighted even Encouraging memoir writing in old age may be serving for the log in whatever little flame may arise from this reader being educated and coached through this book.


  8. says:

    The subtitle billing the book as a master class is misleading, at best In reality the book is a series of essays ruminating on various aspects of writing The book is a mix of memoir, writing insight, and life insight, along with occasional writing advice, interspersed with voluminous asides parenthetically presented, of course I didn t really learn much about writing from it, though I did enjoy reading it, or at least parts of it Still, it s worth reading if you re a writer or aspire to be The stream of consciousness laced with subtle humor and parentheses is a pleasant enough read.


  9. says:

    This is my fourth Mark Edmundson book Each is better than the last Why Write is definitely not a gimmicky how to book This is a sort of love hate letter to writing as a discipline Edmundson acknowledges the ups and downs, the neurotic tendencies, the glory, the nonsense, the magic, and all the irrationality that goes into the craft of writing Short chapters keep things interesting and moving It s a delightful read and a book I highlighted up and down.


  10. says:

    A book for writers Alas, too much content could be skipped without much You have to read between the parenthesis, a lot was written there.On the other hand, this book prompted many thoughts of mine and provoked lots of those juicy internal conversations.


  11. says:

    Why Write A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why it Matters by Mark Edmundson Bloomsbury, New York 2016 Mark Edmundson is a professor at the University of Virginia with books to his credit like Why Teach and Why Read Why Write un limbers the old clich that the mind is a muscle and then cobbles together a hyperbolic set of examples that demonstrate the truth of the clich by reference to writing as psychological, moral and spiritual weight lifting Not only has modern neuroscience and cognitive psychology begun to give a frame to what philosophers used to call mind , but the frame itself has come to fruition in works by Nobel prize winners like Daniel Kahnemann and serious philosopher scientists like Daniel Dennett, Stephen Pinker, Jeremy Rifkin, Antonio Domasio and many others Edmundson makes explicit his claim that the mind is a muscle then, he continues to pile error on error by claiming that the muscled up mind produces a muscled up memory Modern science now knows that, at best, memory is a hit and miss proposition, though certain feats of memory can be produced with training of a specific sort Even taken as metaphor , the mind as muscle idea is false.Edmudson claims that he s examining the art of writing, but almost nothing about the art itself is mentioned Short chapters explore why writers write for revenge, to get the last word, for money, etc and a section or two explores revision and related items However, the art of writing is pretty much untouched, either as a theory of creative cognition or as aesthetics Here again modern neuroscience and cognitive psychology ride to the rescue If one wants to understand the relation between creativity and aesthetics there are modern scientific masters at work like the pioneering Howard Gardner and Eric Kandel among many others.One thing Edmundson says rankles Writing is not about publishing, he says Writing is about writing Sadly, this is untrue Writing to be read is about the only thing worthwhile about real writing If you do not wish to present your work for publication, then consort with your daily diary for a few minutes a day, then keep it hidden under lock and key.This chatty, banal book has Kafka spinning in his grave.


  12. says:

    At times inspiring, at others comical, Mark Edmundson manages to cover an array of motivations, reasons, and benefits connected with writing Each chapter reads almost like an independent essay, so this is a book that you can take your time with, reading a bit here and there He relies a bit too heavily on European classics Obviously he has a preference that limits his appreciation for contemporary and diverse writers However, he only uses these as examples or to highlight his points, so adding in diversity would enrich rather than significantly alter the book He does make some efforts in this regard, but there is to be said by authors than the ones he repeatedly turns to.Overall, however, this book is inspiring for anyone who wants to live a writing life Edmundson makes a case that writing is a worthy endeavour in its own right Publishing and all the things that come along with writing or not are not his focus He doesn t ignore the realities and challenges of writing, but it s not an advice book It s a book that transcends the material reality of writing to delve into what we gain on a personal, spiritual level for lack of a better word.


  13. says:

    I like reading about writers and books about books I all just fascinates me I felt right at home with this book, certainly kept my interest throughout I like how this man writes, so now I m on to Why Read and Why Teach and I don t think I ll regret it.


  14. says:

    I read this book because I am a writer of essaysI don t think I m that great so I picked up this book I am also a professional songwriter and musical artist and thought this may give me some insight to that craft as well I was touched by this passage How do writers change the world For one thing, they reinvigorate the language If poets don t come along with their metaphors and verbal twists and turns, then language will become inert It will be dead, as Shelly says, to all the nobler purposes of human intercourse Language is the most intimate medium of human exchange and it must be kept vital Language must reflect the mystery, beauty, and sadness of life Those are abiding facts, and when language flattens out, we can no longer perceive them I ll keep working at it This has inspired me.


  15. says:

    Will read it again


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About the Author: Mark Edmundson

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