30 Pieces of a Novel

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Possibly because Australia was sufficiently distant for me to plunge again, and possibly because the fascination of the theatre is something no writer truly shakes loose from, I rooted out the MS.

My own opinion of that draft, reread after so long an interval, was that the subject matter was quite interesting and that the play was structurally not too bad. I knew it had weaknesses, some of them fairly serious, but I was also not completely certain that the Australian Theatre group would want to perform it. Whereupon, it opened first in Melbourne and then in Sydney. While it was playing in Australia, the Czech Theatrical and Literary Agency heard about it somehow and wrote to me, asking whether I could send them a copy to read.

I now studied the MS. I finished the rewrite and sent the new version off to Czechoslovakia by airmail. It was translated and went into production immediately, and opened in Prague in April of A second company opened in Pilsen, and then in short order, sixteen additional Czech companies began to perform the play. Once again, I did a rewrite, particularly of the third act, and sent additional manuscripts out. Separate German translations were made for Vienna and Berlin, and soon thereafter it opened in each of the above-mentioned cities.

A Yiddish translation was performed in the Yiddish theatre in Poland, while a Polish version opened in Warsaw. Meanwhile, a British director working with a Hebrew group in Israel, had supervised a translation into Hebrew, although the first Hebrew production in Israel did not take place until December of However, at one point during , productions were running simultaneously in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw, Pilsen and Moscow.

It's one of my favorite stories. Deeply emotional but constructed, I thought, originally. I like melding those two worlds -- emotion and originality. Where the odd construction of the story doesn't stifle the emotion of the story. You have written compulsively over the years about traumatic incidents inspired by the history of your own family. Despite the recurrence of subject matter you always seem able, unlike lesser writers, to use it as springboard for innovation.

Do you consider yourself or your characters obsessive? How do you manage to continually expand and digress on a seemingly fixed point in a narrative? I am obsessive in that I always have to have something to write.

30 Pieces of a Novel

I would probably get ill if I didn't have something to write. That's why I usually start something new the day after I've finished something new. And if nothing comes -- I might try three or four times that day -- I try again the day after, and if nothing comes that day, the day after that. I only feel good when I have something to work on. As for the other part of the question, I suppose I am naturally innovative. Innovation comes easier to me than traditional writing.

I enjoy saying old things in a new way. I stopped writing in a traditional way in , when I was writing stories in D. Some of these forms came naturally but other times they were willed. Some took some thinking and others just burst out of the pod. Some came as I sat in front of my typewriter and others came as I walked on the street or looked at a painting in a museum or was taking a shower or making love or waiting on a table in a restaurant or as a bartender, pouring a guy a drink in a bar.

I never knew where or when a story idea or new form would come. But they always came, and always when I was looking for something to write, and they never took long to come. As I said, it probably has to do with health. If I want to be healthy, I must have something to write and a way to write it. There seems to be a timeless aspect to your fiction. There are never any references or signposts that would indicate a specific year or even decade. Was this a conscious decision on your end or did it develop as part of your unmistakable prose style? There are some pieces or parts of my fiction that are timed.

No Relief has a story in it with a reference, I believe, to Nixon's -- president, then -- shirt cuffs. George Bush II is referred to, not flatteringly, in Meyer. And so on. But I like my work to be mostly timeless. I am not an historian. I think the timelessness of my work keeps the fiction from being dated. Rhythm is an underexplored aspect of fiction. In your case I feel that that one of the most vital elements of your work is the seamless marriage of pace and language.

How difficult is it for you to create and sustain this hectic momentum?

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Every piece of fiction I write comes with its own language and pace. It comes naturally and appropriately. If it's an exciting scene, the pace is picked up. The pace is as much a part of the story as the language. And the language is part of the pace. They work together. An unexciting scene wouldn't employ a hectic pace. And the other way around too.

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But it all comes down to words. The right words. The right union of words. The right number of syllables in the words.

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The right number of words. The right union of sentences. The right number of syllables in the sentences. The right number of sentences. Nothing can stick out.

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Everything has to work together. I work to make everything work. I know when everything is working to the whole. Pace is important to the actions and emotion of the piece, of course, and the words and juxtapositions of the sentences are important, of course, to the pace. There have been numerous references over the course of your writing career to the number 30; most notably in the thirty years worth of stories included in The Stories of Stephen Dixon and the aforementioned Pieces of A Novel What does this number signify to you?

The number 30 signifies completion and end. I was once a newsman. At the end of the story I wrote, I'd write: It was originally the symbol for the end of a telegraph message: the number 30 with two wings. Apparently simpler to telegraph, and shorter, than the words "The End. I liked that symbol for my own writing.

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Not only the completion of a story but the end of many ends: the end of a life of a person the narrator loved; the end of innocence; the end of a job; the end of a love affair, health, childhood, etc. I have other reasons, but I think I've said enough.

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Pieces of a Novel [Stephen Dixon] on saconpogent.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Pieces of a Novel [Stephen Dixon] on saconpogent.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Gould, the fictional narrator, shares his thoughts about his life, real.

Symbolically, it's the most important number to me. You taught in the John Hopkins writing program for 26 years before your retirement. What sort of impact did this role have on your own fiction?


I write about the emotional life as I've experienced it and as I see it. Course Bonuses Available in days. There have been times -- before Anne -- when the woman would say "That's it; we're through," and slam my door, and I would immediately, or soon that day, go to the typewriter and write a story about the breakup, or she would tell me to leave and I would return to my apartment and begin to write a story about the breakup, of course much fictionalized to make it a story, and not repeat a breakup story I've previously written. This is not the Christ in the Christian Scriptures. I think I even went so far as to apologize for not knowing who she was prior to reading her book. You have written compulsively over the years about traumatic incidents inspired by the history of your own family.

What were some of the most vital lessons that you endeavored to impart on, what turned out to be, a generation of writers? I taught for 27 years. Maybe that is 26 years. Teaching had no impact on my writing. My main characters were often teachers in college, but you rarely saw them teaching. One story, "Eating the Placenta," in my collection Time to Go , has a teacher trying to avoid an unavoidable student who wants feedback on a story he's written. The teacher wants to hurry home to attend to his wife, who called him in his office to say she needs to be taken to the hospital to have their first baby.

The student is unrelenting, follows him most of the way home. That's an example of how I included my teaching experiences into my writing.

ridfepiteri.ga Or in Frog , a writing teacher goes crazy in the classroom, turns over a table, needs quick psychiatric help. Otherwise, I found the academic setting void of material. I kept the experience of teaching on the outskirts.