Tillie Olsen

“Literature is a place for generosity and affection and hunger for equals – not a prize-fight ring.  We are increased, confirmed in our medium, roused to do our best, by every good writer, every fine achievement.  Would we want one good writer or one good book less?”

– Tillie Olsen, Silences

4 thoughts on “Tillie Olsen

  1. johemmant

    absolutely………there are a lot of self-serving, ungenerous writers…..I wonder if it’s related to the difficulty of getting published? There’s selection at work from on high so the writers pitch in too and make people question themselves……after all, someone with shaky faith may not go all the way; but then again it just might be the spur they need.

    I think Dave Bonta wrote something that touched on this recently (did you check him out yet, he’s a seriously talented writer;); but not on his blog, as a comment somewhere: that he expects that as writers are sensitive, highly-tuned folk, they will be sensitive to the feelings of others but often they are concerned only with their own micro-cosmos and not the people around them.

    For myself, I’m glad to have the friendship and support of people like you, Ret, Dale, Dave and my Poco. This is a lonely, very difficult profession and everyone needs encouragement and support.

    Thanks, M *smiles*.

  2. christine

    It’s almost as if each day we need to start fresh as writers, bringing ourselves to the page with the mind of a beginner. I hope to keep this attitude, no matter if I publish books or not.

    I’ve heard stories about even Robert Frost, widely acclaimed in his own lifetime, who has been reported as demonstrated obvious jealousy and disdain at a public reading of a new poet when he was not on stage.

    I’m 48 years old and just getting into this whole poetry/publishing world. The only real- life poets I’ve met are Collin Kelley and Karen Head, who were both very kind. I

    I can imagine though, like Jo said, that people could be very cut throat when it comes to publishing. But it’s a poverty mentality. We can write with the hope that everyone’s voice will someday find a stage, in some way or another.

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