Writers and readers
Early morning in the greenwood

Writers and readers, part 2

Hill 1

From "Porlock Prizes" by Alan Garner (1979):

"A writer has to live an insoluable paradox. He requires a public, and he can achieve it only by becoming most private. I have been doing nothing else but writing for twenty-three years, and have been published for almost nineteen. For four years no one knew that I was writing, and I had no evidence that I could learn to write. Now, if I were still unpublished, would I still be writing? Yes, I should. A more telling question is whether I would have written the books I have written, in the order I wrote them, and whether they would in all respects be the same books. That is: has recognition, of whatever kind, influenced the development of the work?

"I feel that the books would have emerged as they are, but even more slowly. That is what I feel: and I know that I am wrong."

Hill 2

Hill 3

"The enduring creative act is between the work and the perceiver, and each re-creation says more about the work, and from each re-creation there builds a momentum, which grows to a collaborative response, which I become aware of and am helped by. The help is not so much a deed at a given time but an atmosphere. It is more subtle than applause. Applause tempts the performer to show off, to please, to repeat. All that is damaging. The help I mean is simple. It is the quiet nod, the unostentatious sign that what one does is worthwhile."

Hill 4

Hill 5

"The solitary reader, who may never speak about the experience, by the act of reading adds somehow to the communal response and brings about the environment in which the writer may flourish. Then the privacy of the writer and the isolation of the reader are transcended and become a reciprocal dialogue."

Hill 6

Hill 7

Hill 8

Hill 9

Devon Bluebells"Porlock Prizes" by Alan Garner can be found in his essay collection The Voice That Thunders. The poem in the picture captions is from Collected Poems, 1943-2004 by Richard Wilbur.