Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 27, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

4:00 pm
>> he has captured that moment in american history and i gather what is great humor and also history of a frequent kinds of that is the first book i will read. the second book is chris buckley losing mom and pop. we have all heard a little about the book and has seen
4:01 pm
one way or another the five days of the famous line he said to his mother on her death beds and said i forgive you i hope my grandchildren do not say that to me. when i read the exurbs in the near "time" magazine i realize how true the revealing it is the way families of a certain kind live together i have to come to terms with the practice of veterinary people you have grew up with reached the end of the line and it sounds like something really worth reading.
4:02 pm
4:03 pm
>> up next william least heat-moon look at small-town america. and his first road trip book since "blue highways" even as it sounds and missouri, kentucky, wyoming, o klahoma but mexico florida and other states. it is 70 minutes. >> it is a lot of people's favorite city in the country at i assume it is yours. the last time i was here on a book be 11 i was here for prairie earth i was on a 40 citi book to -- tour by the
4:04 pm
time i was a princess close fading than i had the flu by the time i got here i thought i was near death then it came time to go to the bookstore downtown and give a talk and i said i will not make it. i cannot do this but i did not have enough nerve to face the new yorkers they can be abusive. i went into the bookstore and i got in there it was a crowd of about the size i don't know if it is still the same set up and i saw all of the energy in your faces. was anybody there at that time? so i saw of this energy in your face is and suddenly i felt better and with and about five minutes i was cured and that truly lasted for about 10
4:05 pm
hours. [laughter] by the time i hit salt lake city and the land of the more men die was sick again. i cannot blame the mormons. [laughter] i think but i remember the tremendous energy supply will feed off of that tonight although it is hard as the span because they have the doggone lights in my face and i cannot see your faces so end the energy down here it is the last of on the tour but i have been looking forward to it is a great books city the library is one of the most odd in the world. [laughter] was also one of the loveliest. i have seen it from the outside i just got a quick tour from the inside. in 1980, 1983 i stand across the street in the pacific hotel the. hotel on the corner when the carnegie library was still
4:06 pm
here i was working on "blue highways" that had just come out and was working on a story for the "atlantic monthly". called a glass of hand made it was about the burgeoning microbrew movement. and as all of you know, , a seattle was up the hearts of that moment, northern california, portland and to some extent, in new york state i was reporting and real-estate across the street and came to the carnegie library and what a shock to come back. this is truly out of the 20th days 21st century and built in this century. the first time i came to seattle was in 1962. the mountain to about one day when i was here. was city can match that?
4:07 pm
of the waterfront, the berries, the smith our everything that you know, so well i was fascinated. the thing that overwhelmed me, i was about 23 years old and walking up and down the streets of downtown i did not have any wheels. i was fascinated with the faces. the mixture here growing up in kansas city as they did in the hearts of america i was not used to such diversity even one generation ago. not only black and white but asian, even more than that i kept running into american indian faces then i really flipped out one afternoon when i came across an inuit and later that day and then i thought all of north america comes together because than and those combinations but
4:08 pm
feel people who run america will not be happy but to see the crosses of the world i thought in this that way is the fulfillment as i see it what we're doing in this nation. on that second book tour i was stopping to get a haircut and talking with the man sitting next to me while we were both waiting we get to know which other, not the way dogs and do, and then do that now buy sniffing the buy asking a simple question what do you do? it seems every now with the other fellow does, what is his line we have a fix. so we were chatting and that came up pretty quickly he was a high school mathematics teacher he asked me what i did and i never want to answer the
4:09 pm
question because certainly in those days when i was a fresh writer if i asked me what i wrote i never knew how to describe and have not gotten much better. i am not quite sure what my books are about. the hardest question for me to answer is if they interview alt a opens with what is the new book about i am almost up less i go into a long ramble and i think that may be one reason the new book has a subtitle of an american mosey" my life is the interstate existence born in 1939 and there were no interstate's that does not mean i don't use them but i am not on a short trajectory to a destination every time i'd a guy m. i find how the hell did i get in the swamp? emotionally, metaphorically, m ost of us do not lead lives
4:10 pm
from point* a2 point b 2. see that is what we think we try to do but we're then all here. my books reflect that my books are a mosey and they do wonder. mostly my readers to our mail compared to the other gender are straight line it thinkers, destination and, let's get there. come on. the conversation between the men and women and the man, the woman is talking and talking and he says get to the point* this is the point*. but is my book we go here and here and three blinder round and i figure if you wander around the nephew hit a few good things it is a mosey. back to my story about the barbershop he asked me what i did and i said i am an author i say i am a writer. so then the next question is what do you write? that is the one i do not know how to answer.
4:11 pm
said i guess you could call it travel and the lost all interest thank god. he said i just read a good travel book the other day. what is it? he said i kind of like it he said it was about i said what is the title he said i cannot remember the title, who wrote it? i can remember who wrote it was about? there is a guy i think if i have read this one. [laughter] and he gets in an old man and he starts driving around the back roads of america. [laughter] i said yes? he said that's right the name is blue rhodes, no "blue highways" that is it. i said did you like it? he said it was good it has some problems i am a stand it sold pretty well and i said i have heard that. he said you ought to write
4:12 pm
yourself a book like that and i said well, i have. he said what is yours called? he said "blue highways" i said no not the one i am talking about he said yours? i said "blue highways" i think he checked my eyes were sanity and he said are you the moon by? [laughter] i want to do something tonight partly because we have a visual audience with us, your number in the millions i will not intimidate and ask any questions but i thought i needed some kind of a visual aid like mr. rogers but i do not have the capacity. one of the many i am lacking but i can do this because i'm often asked the question, i am on the road and my writing the book ben? it depends what you call right thing.
4:13 pm
i tried to convince my family and he will meet one of them tonight, she is sitting over here and a character in the book, quite a character, i tried to convince them i cannot be taking a nap and work at the same time. have to me honest it does not often work that way but there have been times in which i have been taking a nap and i have a little dream or relaxation and the different part of the brain starts working and i get a good idea. if that has happened twice that means it can happen again. so that means a nablus working writing is i start with a pencil and paper before i go to electronics. but at any rate this book which one person called a doorstop of a book i will take mine and shellacked and prop.
4:14 pm
one of the doors open that i get. i did not need for it to be this bigger wanted it to me smaller than "blue highways" but the stores kept coming and i kept reading these people so i put that down. if you're going to get a book you may as well get a good deal. [laughter] this is one hell of a deal. [laughter] i figured it is 4.7 cents per page if you read it once. if you read it twice you cut the cost down by half if your spouse read it, it goes down again. that is pretty good, 585 pages. this doorstop it began not with this particular one but with many little notebooks like us. if you are a writer and i know
4:15 pm
from past audiences you are or you plan to write someday, these are great little things to have. if you are going to catch the voice and the sound of the people you have to me able light what they say right away, the phrases that a person can use that are so colorful. these are great. don't get the ones made in brazil because the pages come loose and then the wind come and then there goes the seeds of chapter six. of this comes first record during the day is simply jot down phrases, here is an account of what happened today. you cannot see that back there but a few minutes the words, but tonight or tomorrow morning i will sit down and look at those phrases that will remind me and give be a chronology to allow the memory to kick and. then i go to one of these
4:16 pm
their word to of days from roads to cross -- "roads to quoz" and is 517 pages i learned after "blue highways" in writing and i had no idea what i was doing, to put my life together so i was taking notes on the back of napkins and match bookspan trying to ride on the steering wheel on a van that i travelled and. at the time the roads and montana are not what they are today. the winds took chapter six of per year veteran know how many montana highways took away trying to read my handwriting. i learned early before you start trying to draft the book if you were working from a text that will fire your imagination you will write better so i started making
4:17 pm
these books from a ford give this word but i do not know another of the top of my head i try to make them as artful as i could. tried to write it far more legibly been i do with the little book then i fell in with images or pictures or anything that will trigger there are maps, here is the island in south carolina with notations that will allow me to reconstruct things. here is a map of about half of the travels of quoz you can see the little colored lines that reminds me how things fit together. when i do it this way i feel inspired. woody allen said the hardest thing about writing is to go from nothing to something. i wish i had known that many years ago because it is true. it is the terror of the blank page but if you start with these little notations in here
4:18 pm
which they are jaunt, at best they are seeds. if you start with those then right through the beginning you have something when nothing started to disappear. and because of that, i think, is there any would in this building you cannot find? [laughter] there is not one piece of void. here is my imagination and i have never suffered from writer's block but trying to figure out what the hell the book is about and put together. the structure, a prairie earth took seven years to arrive because i could not figure out the sample tic-tac-toe design that controls the book. once i have agreed in my mind everything i had been gathering came together but this is the concept that brought us together which is the ledger q and it as the alphabetical letter as the concept i could work with.
4:19 pm
so you have little but, the bigger book and finally best. what is in between is the early drafts of the book. in this case and perhaps. 50,000 pages. i am sorry 5,000 pages. [laughter] the thing that i always try to do is imitate the ice skater the competitive by skater who goes out there to make what they're doing like you could do it and that is what i try to do. what it is important in my books to try to make them conversational even though i am getting into history and ideas than any number of things but it takes the 10 drafts to do that, those 5,000 words before you get to the us. that does not feedback, that
4:20 pm
is god talking to us? somebody? [laughter] where was i? when god speaks, i do with the. [laughter] and four a man like me that is a strange thing to do. i was setting up what it wanted to say a few points above the new book this is wonderful because i do think this point* early in the book's history have not read it yet so i have a chance to defend it the hard thing for a writer at this point* in the book history is that the reviews are coming out and almost all are done quickly, they need to me and they are done quickly so there reviewer will give you an idea what the book is about. many don't do that they spend too much time on their opinion. they can make up their own mind. but unfortunately they do read fast and they almost never
4:21 pm
really understand what the book is about. for example, it took two years for any reviewer or subsequent critic to realize "blue highways" was about a blue high way of trying to live on this planet. the same quote as the others. my publisher is great little brown and company did something i did not know they would do and did not consult me so it did not work out so well so they sent out review copies that were missing the last six pages of the book which talk about quoz so it is called "roads to quoz" and one of the sections about quoz is not there. so i have to cut the reviewer's some slack. but it is nice now to me able to give you about the same time the reviewers have got into you, i did see the one in the seattle times last week, a pretty good review.
4:22 pm
nobody it has written and a review it without making mistakes but i think that is the speed but here's what i want to say. number one to buy stock that number to tell me i have not got to the third. [laughter] i address you, "the reader" in the book for a number of reasons this is the most important, when i am writing, this is the stage going from a log book to a pencil draft and in the draft and then i go to my laptop. one of the stages in their, you are in the room. you do not have a face or a gender or race or a religion or politics, but you are a presence in the room. it is as if you are speaking as if you were god. and when i am writing i am talking to the presence in the
4:23 pm
room. when i come to seattle and i see your faces then i see the faces that in the room at various times so it seems to me natural and address you and it seems a phony to pretend that you are not there. why would we write books of there was not a reader on the other side? the summiteers have been upset already buy be addressing you if it anoles you -- if a new ways you just for get and keep going i did not do that for a reason. others may be for a reason but that is not one of them. to a have anything more to say about addressing you? it was fun to do. whether or not i can do it again i do not want to get into a predictable thing but it was fun doing it. and i do think it did change the tone of the book.
4:24 pm
the second point* i want to make, i have never edited a book in this way before. when my editor in new york had the fifth draft of the book he said you're current chapter one should be chapter two per your current chapter two should be chapter one. so i was aware that might come up the tab as you will see chapter one is extremely eccentric, the most eccentric chapter in the entire but chapter two is radically different you would think they're written by different people and in no way they are because it is a story of a woman told me on the wrist mississippi rivers and is really her story and i am her mouthpiece. i said no. i want to pull "the reader" and immediately e with a store and get it going i do not want to talk about the concept of q
4:25 pm
and quoz. put off to later so i sat of put off the seventh draft and he said again i am convinced even more that chapter two should be chapter was so he put enough doubt in my head and i have never done it before so i ran off copies of both chapters and gave them to seven friends and said which ones you think should be chapter one or chapter two? and the votes was six /1 against me. so i thought i will probably live to regret this but i will do it. so my chapter two is now chapter one ended the reading chapter one and you think this is just too weird or eccentric, i am not sure the guy is fully balanced stop reading and go into chapter two. [laughter] and there you'll meet mrs. rutherford, she is gone now but she is sane.
4:26 pm
i don't know how the new readers and "roads to quoz" will have over the years but i cannot get by a much longer so he told me, pass the word. the third point* and this i have heard ever since the two but especially the last three books with prairie earth and "river horse" and now "roads to quoz" you like this or you don't but if you don't like it is easier to ignore it and go past it. some of you know, what i am talking about one, vocabulary, let me say it this way, as speakers of english, american english we have the largest vocabulary on the planet earth. the largest vocabulary 400,000 words. i do not know how they count los. i do not know if for a sample use a run is another running is that the same word, runner, ran, you get the
4:27 pm
idea. i read this several times more than 400,000 words, shakespeare used about 30,000 and i do not know how you count those. i counted my own, my computer did and i know my account and i will not tell you because i am embarrassed even with all the words might count was so far shied of shakespeare one i feel inferior, well i am but i do not need to feel that way all the time. [laughter] if we have the richest vocabulary on earth why would we use it? who would say the five will live on bread and water even though next-door there is the almost endless buffet of anything i can imagine further yes there are people who live on bread and water and there are people in "roads to quoz" who will do that you will be her i am not saying there's
4:28 pm
anything wrong with it but it would be wrong for me. i like good bread but if there is a buffet next door i will be their most of the time. seems to me there are certain people in the country and i will not say they're all professors or other writers come i am trying to think of exceptions. [laughter] i cannot think of one, but there must be, but these of the people's you if you use the word they don't know you have in salted them. you have insulted their intelligence. some use the word i don't know because then i am happy the day is not a complete loss now especially at this age i may forget it in two days but it was nice to have a i could use it for two days. said you will find lot of peculiar words then you'll find a bunch beginning with q. that leads me, and no. i want to say something more.
4:29 pm
we are pretty much under the dominance today of what we commonly called the plain style in terms of writing. "the new yorker" is one of the magazines the places you can have it done as well as any place it is done beautifully most of the time. i have no objection to using plain style but i do say that why do we want to restrict ourselves 21 style when we can have many? the more than i read especially in the 19th century by realize as storytellers, writers and just people talking how we have cut back the the expense of our ability to express ourselves. ou


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on