Saturday, 8 June 2019

On Effort and Letting Go (2019)



A short essay in the Paris Review on the trials and tribulations of writing and piano playing by  Salvatore Scibona (HERE).
Every writer has a carburetor, unique to herself, that measures out a mist of fuel for the volume of flowing air in the cylinder of her imagination. A plug provides the spark, the fuel ignites, and off she goes.
The spark is an idea; the fuel is effort; the air is grace. She needs them all, and all in balance. If the cylinder contains too much fuel, it won’t ignite. She sits in an old car on a winter morning and twists the key while she pumps the pedal: the engine makes a cranking wheeze, not the whoosh of ignition. She pumps the pedal again, adding still more fuel, to no avail. She has flooded the cylinder. She has tried too hard.

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