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Joyce Carol Oates Natters About Writing

In this video Oates makes it clear writing doesn’t come easily to her. She also talks about writing as art and about Emily Dickinson. We’ve had Oates via video before, but this strikes me as particularly poignant.

Do you have a favorite writing video you’d like to see here? Post the link in comments.

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  • ow

    Wow. I’m going to listen to the rest of this later, but she lost me when she said that she didn’t find comedy to be the highest art and that she wanted to write about things that matter. As a comedy and satire writer, I am used to hearing this, and also tired of hearing this. Perhaps she revises her opinion later, but right now, I’m turned off.

    Good comedy can be extremely high art. And good comedy can expose human weakness, failing, fears and hopes just as well as any ‘difficult’ piece does. I, for example, write a lot of comedy that has to do with race and I have been told by so many people that they have thought about things in new ways thanks to what I’m doing. I have become much more of a feminist than I ever was because of some powerful female comedy writers and I have been able to expose friends of mine to incredibly difficult social issues thanks to my being able to deliver those issues to them via comedy.

    Comedy may seem “easy” and “light” but to truly learn how to craft a story for maximum comedic impact or to learn how to deliver poignant information while making someone laugh is a skill that many of work on for years and years and years. It’s a practice just like any other discipline.
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