Marco Schuffelen's Literary Page

© Marco Schuffelen 1998


1. Criticism and Writing
Hemingway says somewhere (A Moveable Feast, I think) that one is either a writer or a critic but that one can't be both; a look at The New York Times Book Review would make one think times have changed, for I wonder: Did I ever see a review in the supplement by someone who did not have a new or forthcoming (or recently reprinted) piece to sell?
Maybe it means that if I ever get another book out I'll have to exert myself to get reviews placed. (So this is my training ground.) Nowadays one has to be a businessperson first.
So I will perversely persevere here for a while ... maybe I'll prove that I'm not a writer.

2. Evolution in Literature (`Survival of the Fittest')
Years ago, some proselytizing Yehova's Witnesses told me: "The Bible has to be the word of God, because it has lasted these thousands of years," and I said, "Well, there have probably been other books like it and those have crumbled into dust because they were not so good, they didn't work: that's evolution."
Now maybe in a poem or a very short story every word and turn can be deliberately chosen, but I think it's impossible that Melville was fully in control of Moby Dick, for instance, the felicitous occurrence of some of the images and storylines just luck (strength, cash and patience). Of course there's intuition, necessary guide to a writer, but a big work like Moby Dick is just too complicated to keep together in one's head.

3. The Critics and Me
My own published literary effort `In Jullie Tijd' was not reviewed by any major critic, unfortunately; just by two provincial hacks who felt they had to prove their cosmopolitanism by bashing it.

Plans: (What I like best are plans)

Last modified: Thu Oct 8 21:18:14 PDT 1998