Sunday, March 18, 2012

Prodigious writing

I rashly declared on the eve of 2012 that I would write something every day, after all I'm retired now and have time. Trying to write every day turned blogging into work for me and I've been a dismal failure at keeping up. I found myself writing pure drek. Instead I'm opting for quality (at least in my own view) over quantity and will stick with my former plan and write when the mood takes me or I have something interesting to say.

The output of some people amazes me. Nancy sent me a link to Spitalfields Life.  "The Gentle Author" made a promise to write 10,000 stories about her neighborhood in Spitalfields England, one a day; it will take her 27 years, 4 months to complete it in the year 2037.  What a feat! So far she's written about 1000 blogs. Those I've read are interesting, well written and accompanied by excellent photographs. Rarely is there a "fudge" just to get something on paper...well, maybe the entry on "Mr. Pussy takes a nap" - about her duh.. cat napping on a quilt. Our local blogging maven Robert Sommers of Blue Heron Blast posted 850 blogs last year, always interesting. Year after year his output increases.

In the astonishing output department, Georges Simenon, according to a recent New Yorker article by Joan Acocella, gets the prize. Here's a link to an abstract of the article:  Simenon Abstract.
He was one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century, perhaps of all time. In addition to his seemingly endless series of Inspector Maigret stories, he wrote more than 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, and scores of pulp novels under pseudonyms. He wrote 800 humorous pieces in a two year period as "Monsieur Le Coq" between 1919 and 1921, when he was 16 -18 of age.  He would write 60 - 80 pages a day, vomit from the tension but nevertheless turn out a novel in 6 or 7 days. When he'd start a novel, he'd get a medical exam to assure that he was up to the stress. Next, he'd get his four dozen sharpened pencils ready, put a "Do not disturb" sign up on his room and let it rip.

Writing was not the only thing Georges did voluminously and in a rush.  In the New Yorker article, they say he claimed in an interview with Frederico Fellini, to have "been to bed" with 10,000 women but it only took him 2 minutes for sex.  More perhaps than we need to know except that he did everything in a hurry.  Boggles the mind though wondering where he'd find 10 women, never mind 10,000 women willing to have this kind of encounter. 

Imagine what Simenon could have done with viagra and a computer? I wonder what kind of blogger he would have been. 

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