Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Best Writers Don't Always Speak

An active interest of mine is the behind-the-scenes of writers and composers. I like learning about their quotidian mannerisms and experiences. Hence, what I read today on the Times did indeed tickle my fancy.
Excellent article by Arthur Krystal!
"...when the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt told a friend, a Parisian doctor, that he wanted to meet a certifiable lunatic, he was invited to the doctor’s home for supper. A few days later, Humboldt found himself placed at the dinner table between two men. One was polite, somewhat reserved, and didn’t go in for small talk. The other, dressed in ill-matched clothes, chattered away on every subject under the sun, gesticulating wildly, while making horrible faces. When the meal was over, Humboldt turned to his host. “I like your lunatic,” he whispered, indicating the talkative man. The host frowned. “But it’s the other one who’s the lunatic. The man you’re pointing to is Monsieur Honoré de Balzac.”

Read it all here.

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Sra said...

Yes, it's always the quiet ones you have to worry about. You never know what's going on in our heads ;)

Anonymous said...

HA! I loved the Balzac story. The creative spirit is so challenging to pin down, eh?

JJ said...

What makes this point even more interesting is that it kind of shatters the 'wordsmith' prototyoe. Good wkd reading!

Unknown said...

The Balsac bit.... Sheer brilliance!
Quietude is truly underrated, I find. I suppose especially in this day and age where loud mouthedness gets so much 'air time' and attention.