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William Styron, 1925-2006

Filed under: In Memoriam   Tagged: ,

William Styron died yesterday. This makes me sad. From the NYT:
The reaction to “The Confessions of Nat Turner” was at first enthusiastic. Reviewers were sympathetic to Mr. Styron’s right to inhabit his subject’s mind, to speak in a version of Nat Turner’s voice and to weave a fiction around the few facts known about the uprising. George Steiner, in The New Yorker, called the book “a fiction of complex relationship, of the relationship between a present-day white man of deep Southern roots and the Negro in today’s whirlwind.”

When the Styrons settled in their Connecticut farmhouse and began a family, his life became the ideal of any aspiring writer: productive yet relaxed, sociable yet protected. On the door frame outside his workroom, he tacked a piece of cardboard with a quotation from Flaubert written on it: “Be regular and orderly in your life, like a good bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” The precept seemed to work for him, but it was an unconventional routine he stuck to: sleep until noon; read and think in bed for another hour or so; lunch with Rose around 1:30; run errands, deal with the mail, listen to music, daydream and generally ease into work until 4. Then up to the workroom to write for four hours, perfecting each paragraph until 200 or 300 words are completed; have cocktails and dinner with the family and friends at 8 or 9; and stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, drinking and reading and smoking and listening to music.

He woke to sleep, and took his waking slow.


I have a friend who follows a similar routine, and has done rather well. Therefore, I not only recommend it to all those who can get away with it, but I also aspire to it!

Emily, the last few days, I’ve been getting odd error messages when I visit your site. Not sure what the problem is. Anyone else say anything?

No problems re error messages here.
Must return now to my newly adopted Styron-esque lifestyle…

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