The Way Of The Writer: Reflections On The Art And Craft Of Storytelling
By Charles Johnson

Entered 5 March 2017

Since high school, I’ve spent my days and nights immersed in a creative process that is always rewarding because it is an exercise in problem solving and discovery that utilizes all of one’s intellect, emotions and imagination. p. xv

I copied by hand the first chapter of [John Gardner’s]second novel, The Wreckage Of Agathon, the doing of which immediately plunged me into the meter and rhythm of his prose, so much so that even though I didn’t know what the content of a sentence would be before I turned the page and Looked at it, I could feel within how it must sound, what its music and length should be. And how interesting it was, I thought, that so many of his short stories ended with three hard stresses, like the slamming of a door. p. 12

It’s important, I believe, for a literary writer’s first book to be what I call a performance novel, a demonstration of all the skill and craft they have learned up to the time of that book’s publication. p. 13

If one’s goal is to enrich literary culture, a different approach—one I prefer—might instead be to aim at producing over six or seven years one, many splendored, fully imagined, and deeply felt novel that has the complexity, density and polyvalence of six books and, become an American cultural artifact like [Ralph] Ellison’s novel. [Invisible Man.]

Words I had to look up:

Inedita—unpublished work. p. 13

See Also: The Words And Wisdom Of Charles Johnson by Charles Johnson.

Entered 170226

From forward by Oliver Sachs:

Finally, she embarked on an intensiv3e course of training with a developmental optometrist… p. xii

From main text by Susan Barry:

But the kittens in these studies had strabismus, [str??b?zm?s: a disorder of the muscles of the eyes, as cross-eye, in which both eyes cannot be focused on the same point at the same time] or misaligned eyes. p. 1

“Don’t worry,” he told me. “Stereopsis [st?ri??ps?s:stereoscopic vision] is just a little fine-tuning for the visual system.” p. 4

[Charles Wheatstone] explained how stereopsis works by introducing a model of the first stereoscope, so named because stereo is the Greek word for solid, and images seen through the stereoscope looked solid and real. p. 6

Since the mid-1900s, the scientific and medical communities have cited strabismus and a related disorder called amblyopia (commonly referred to a lazy eye) as classic examples of developmental disorders that cause permanent changes in vision if they are not corrected within a critical period in early life. p. 10

[Dr. Rocko Fasanella] diagnosed my condition as constant, alternating esotropia. …eso is derived from the Greek and means within, while tropia, also from the Greek, means turning. Had I turned my nonfixating eye outward instead of inward, I would have appeared walleyed instead of cross-eyed. p. 11

[My vision, before surgical corrected at age 4, was esotropia strabismus; and became exotropia strabismus after breaking my glasses in boot camp at age 19. JH]

Infantile esotropia appears at about two or three months of age, while a second type of strabismus, accommodative esotropia usually develops at around two to three years. p. 23 [My baby pictures suggest that I developed the latter, JH.]

Comments are closed.