Inside the Writer's Room
April 12, 2007 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Writers' Rooms The Guardian takes you inside the spaces where writers such as JG Ballard and Will Self attempt to cajole words into doing their bidding.
posted by drezdn (22 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going to end up like one of those old weirdos who lives in a network of tunnels burrowed through trash - yet I do not fear this.
Will Self

Heh. This is good.
posted by ColdChef at 1:40 PM on April 12, 2007

One of the first things I look at every Saturday in the Guardian. Great stuff.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:43 PM on April 12, 2007

heh heh heh "cajole."

that's a favorite.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 1:55 PM on April 12, 2007

Just proves the old saying , " you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him suck your cock"
posted by nola at 1:58 PM on April 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

I didn't realize this was also online, so thanks!
posted by humblepigeon at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2007

Can anybody spot, on Will Self's desk the big ball bearing given to him by Anthony Gormley? This has been bugging me since the weekend.
posted by Flashman at 2:25 PM on April 12, 2007

This is one of my favourite features in the Guardian's Saturday books supplement. I love seeing writers' rooms. I don't know if this is because I'm a writer or just plain nosiness, but I know that my love of ephemera and notebooks comes into it - the more cluttered the room, the more I enjoy the article, regardless of whether I like the writer. So Will Self's is excellent - Antonia Fraser's was also interesting, lots of lovely books and notebooks and no obvious sign that Harold Pinter had been chewing the carpets or breaking things.
posted by WPW at 2:38 PM on April 12, 2007

I've always imagined that Antonia Fraser simply sends Harold off to stand in the corner when he gets too angsty - "Harold, you broke my teacup. Now stop yelling about how corrupt and evil America is, and stop asking me cryptic and threatening questions about bus timetables. Go over there and think about what a naughty playwright you've been!"
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:15 PM on April 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

chairs that are so badass as to make words unfit for desciption; that is the key to writing.
posted by pokermonk at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2007

Bainbridge, dude, the preferred nomanclature is Asian American.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:01 PM on April 12, 2007

Smedleyman - Bainbridge is British. So while "Chinaman" is still unacceptable, the alternative might not be Asian American.
posted by Uccellina at 4:08 PM on April 12, 2007

Though I can't find a link right now, the NYT did this recently also. I liked theirs much better.
posted by dobbs at 4:16 PM on April 12, 2007

I wish these pictures were larger.
posted by ColdChef at 4:26 PM on April 12, 2007

This is great. Usually I find these artist/writer's environment/process pieces self-indulgent, but this was really enlightening. Sometimes writers are the worst when asked to describe themselves or their routines, but this piece, with its emphasis on finding out what they think of their space, really tells us a lot about how they work in it. Thanks for the link.
posted by breezeway at 5:49 PM on April 12, 2007

Thanks so much. One loves Will Self. One does.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:02 PM on April 12, 2007

um, I'm in the wrong thread. My apologizes.
posted by nola at 6:15 PM on April 12, 2007

Actually, nola, I thought that was a pretty brilliant meditation on writer's block. Great stuff!
posted by breezeway at 6:23 PM on April 12, 2007

So many of them say that they either write long-hand or use a typewriter. I'm sort of amazed that there are people still writing that way. Not a criticism, just surprised.
posted by octothorpe at 8:58 PM on April 12, 2007

I remember seeing an interview with Will Self a couple of years ago. He was in his kitchen and his fridge was absolutely covered in yello Post-its as well.

I like the fact Sarah Waters's office is horrible, just like every home office I've seen in real life.
posted by ninebelow at 3:41 AM on April 13, 2007

I thought JG Ballard was dead.

posted by Target Practice at 4:33 AM on April 13, 2007

“the alternative might not be Asian American.”

Ok, so this isn't a guy who built the fucking railroads here.
The chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT...
posted by Smedleyman at 10:58 AM on April 13, 2007

Momus goes off on one in his own inimitable style.
posted by ninebelow at 4:29 PM on April 13, 2007

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