i share this prize[d] speech not because i'm an ernest hemingway fan--i've read little of his work; i find it tedious and particularly dull; perhaps later in life i'll become a reading fan; even still, although i don't read his writings i can appreciate his greatness and the strides he made in american literature--but because of two very agreeable things he said:
Having no facility for speech-making and no command of oratory nor any domination of rhetoric, I wish to thank the administrators of the generosity of Alfred Nobel for this Prize.
No writer who knows the great writers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humility. There is no need to list these writers. Everyone here may make his own list according to his knowledge and his conscience.
It would be impossible for me to ask the Ambassador of my country to read a speech in which a writer said all of the things which are in his heart. Things may not be immediately discernible in what a man writes, and in this sometimes he is fortunate; but eventually they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alchemy that he possesses he will endure or be forgotten.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.
How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.
I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you.
image courtesy of google images
the desk is stationed in front of a large window that looks down to our barn--chickens are pecking at the ground for any morsel they can find and the goats are wandering aimlessly about. the desk sits on a pocked wood-planked floor carpeted in space rugs. suzy is wrapping her body around the legs of my chair and my big fluffy dog--type and name to be determined--is sleeping at my feet.
this is life.
the same friend serves as a mentor for my writing/copy editing venture and is a woman i greatly admire. she described my writing "full of sensory, so emotional and real."