I was listening to the version of “Natural Mystic” that appears on Exodus by Bob Marley. Way different than the earlier version I’d listened to as a teenager with The Wailers’ original lineup. That one had a full horn section and background vocals from the group that seemed to add so much. By the time of the final version, the group had changed substantially with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer gone. And Bob Marley had just survived an assassination attempt.
It got me thinking about how different versions of the same artistic work might reflect the context of the artist’s life at the time. I don’t know if one version is better than the next, just different.
I’ve read about certain poets changing their poems even after publication. Of course there are books that are “unabridged” or “unexpurgated.” You may see newly published versions of the edited manuscripts of well-known works now, too, to get a taste of the editing process.
Sometimes it can seem subjective, the changes that get made. Sometimes it’s very clear how the work has been improved.
It’s available to read or download for free on their site, and you can also buy a print copy, which I’d highly recommend, in their web shop. It’s a beautiful book, and I’m very proud my story “Manchester” (a novel excerpt) is part of it.
I’ve never read Joy Williams, but now I’m going to seek her out. All because of this article by Lincoln Michel. She does a great job of spelling out what a short story should do, while giving her view of humanity and mentioning the current corporate nature of writing workshops. (Agree or disagree?)
This is happening 7pm at BookCourt, Monday June 27.
Jennifer Baker (Moderator)
On the Docket:
Join Sackett Street Writers Workshop and the Minorities in Publishing podcast for a discussion and Q&A with publishing professionals.
About the Event:
What exactly is the difference between marketing and publicity? Will my editor hate me if I need more time on edits? What will an agent expect when I sign with them? How do I query an agent? How do I even get my foot in the door of publishing? Questions like these along with many others will be tackled in “The Realities of Publishing” talk moderated by Jennifer Baker (creator of Minorities in Publishing, production editor) with Todd Hunter (editor, Atria Books), Ebony LaDelle (marketing manager, Simon & Schuster), Diana Pho (editor, Tor), Connor Goldsmith (literary agent, Fuse Literary Agency), and Stephanie Jimenez (associate publicist, Riverhead Books) on their experiences as well as what to expect as someone climbing the ranks in publishing or as a writer entering the business. A Q&A will be held after the panel and wine will be served.
The PEN Poetry Series Is Now Open for Submissions!
For the first time since its beginning in 2011, the PEN Poetry Series will be open for unsolicited poetry submissions during the month of May. Following an overwhelming amount of support, queries, and enthusiasm, we’ll be reading poetry from all over the literary world for the upcoming month.
Please submit up to five poems in a single Word document or PDF. On the first page of your submission, please include a bio and any other relevant information about the poems.
Simultaneous submissions are welcomed and encouraged.
This sort of goes along with the last post about being mistaken for your protagonist. That would be fictionalizing yourself. But what about fictionalizing other people, or having other people mistake themselves for fictional characters based on small details you’ve procured from them to use in a story? This has happened to me with my first book. Michelle Huneven covers all the bases on this topic in The Paris Review blog.
Cool essay by Catherine Lacey in BuzzFeed about being interviewed about your book and being mistaken for your protagonist. Somebody once said, all fiction is memoir, or something like that. Maybe it is, but not exactly.
She says: I realized that when reporters tease out similarities between novelists and their protagonists, it’s not only boring and lazy, but offensive to the whole point of writing fiction.