20 januar 2013

Sebalds råd om skriving

W. G. Sebalds råd om skriving, fra et seminar han holdt i 2001.

Mye interessant her, bl.a. avsnittet om beskrivelser:

On Description

  • You need to set things very thoroughly in time and place unless you have good reasons [not to]. Young authors are often too worried about getting things moving on the rails, and not worried enough about what’s on either side of the tracks.
  • A sense of place distinguishes a piece of writing. It may be a distillation of different places. There must be a very good reason for not describing place.
  • Meteorology is not superfluous to the story. Don’t have an aversion to noticing the weather.
  • It’s very difficult, not to say impossible, to get physical movement right when writing. The important thing is that it should work for the reader, even if it is not accurate. You can use ellipsis, abbreviate a sequence of actions; you needn’t laboriously describe each one.
  • You sometimes need to magnify something, describe it amply in a roundabout way. And in the process you discover something.
  • How do you surpass horror once you’ve reached a certain level? How do you stop appearing gratuitous? Horror must be absolved by the quality of the prose.

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