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John Haskell Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 10.28.09

"Over the years a number of things (film, theater, writing, music, etcetera) have become catalysts and have boosted me in my writing. I just looked up the word boost and three definitions are (1) a push from below, like a boost over a wall, (2) an amplification, and (3) informally, to steal. So, almost randomly, here are two boosters I've had.

"I remember getting ready for a reading I was doing in Chicago, and I had a lot of notes for the reading, but nothing was cohering, and as the night of the reading approached, for some reason, I happened to see an early Godard movie. I don't even remember which one it was, but I remember the freedom I saw in the movie, the joy and passion, and especially the fun of putting ideas and images and words together.

"The other catalyst is a play by Peter Brook, The Mahabharata. I only saw it once, but I remember one character in the play: Krishna. I sort of fell in love with Krishna, and for years I would quote his lines: ‘Resist what resists in you. Become yourself.'"
John Haskell, author of Out of My Skin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009)

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