ICEMAN COMETH ARRIVES IN NYC
“The thing about O’Neill is that he demands everything from you, and it’s not enough,” said Mr. Dennehy, at 76 somewhat bowed in stature but still imposingly broad-shouldered, his jack-o'-lantern head sliced by a frown. “You know that going in, you know that coming out; you come out and you say, ‘I’ve been able to accomplish even less than I thought I could accomplish.' ” - Brian Dennehy
“O’Neill, the daddy of American drama, is asking you to hold hands and jump off this cliff with him, and he’s asking you to do what at times seems almost impossible. It demands stamina and lung power and guts and psychological complexity, plus he’s asking you to go to the darkest place in your soul, the place you didn’t even know you had.” - Nathan Lane
I've been on vacation for 9 days. Relaxing is the name of the game. I've been going through some books (abandoning some, racing through others, slow-and-steadying still others). A nearly-finished 1000-piece puzzle rests on the coffee table. The remaining pieces seem to buzz with potential energy.
One book I stumbled upon (yesterday) is Smith Henderson's Fourth of July Creek. I'm already blown away by it. It's gritty and heart-tugging. The novel is about a young social worker named Pete Snow who lives in Montana. A typical day involves tough scuffles with the members of some awfully broken homes. The chapters have exquisite beginning, middle, and ends (something I've never noticed before in a book; it nearly reads like an HBO drama. This is a good thing. Upon some further digging, it looks like Henderson is working on a script, which would be awesome).The details are breathtaking and feel necessary. They're not frivolous ornamentation.
This link will lead you to a conversation between Henderson and Philipp Meyer, who wrote an epic novel The Son (which I haven't read, but am much more inclined to now). While their chat is specifically honed to writing, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is easily converted to any art-form--any work for that matter.
The headlining idea: "Write Your Biggest Idea"
Henderson: We don’t need to write in miniature (what we “know”) or wait to be good enough to explore something big. In fact, we cannot become good unless we go for broke. And so it was a thrill when American Rust came out, to see that it was being taken for the totality of its story, craft, and ideas. Your debut wasn’t a “meditation” or “lyrical exploration”…it was an honest-to-God novel that readers had to reckon with on every level.
Meyer riffs on these idea and examines the fear that is latent in many artists. Just read it.
While this was conducted six months ago, this has the kick-in-the-pants-here's-a-new-year-what-are-you-waiting-for quality that I love, especially as I have some time to recharge my batteries so that I can go, to quote a grad professor "full-tilt boogie" when I get back to work. (Now: the issue of working slowly for an actor isn't the most useful.)
I have some exciting news to share in a few days.
Until then, I'll keep reading this enthralling book and taking a quick trip to New York City. The Method in Madness tour goes back on the road in ten days or so.
Books Read 2022
Books Read 2021
Books Read 2020
Books Read 2019
Books Read 2018
Books Read 2017
Books Read 2016
Books Read 2015
Films Watched 2022
Films Watched 2021
Films Watched 2020
Films Watched 2019
Films Watched 2018
Films Watched 2017
Films Watched 2016
Films Watched 2015