11 December 2012

Review of Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation

Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and CreationMagic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation by Tom Bissell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is upsetting: I wrote a review here, about an hour ago. It's gone. I wrote the whole thing, clicked save down there at the bottom and ...

What have I learned from this? In future I will write reviews in a word processor or text editor and save them; then, I will cut and paste them here. This is a very frustrating experience: first, because I don't like writing reviews about collections--whether of essays or short stories or poems. My mind tries to go too many ways, even when, as in this collection, there is clear connection between the individual works.

Bissell connects his essays with the theme of the creator and the act of creating, whether that is in film, TV, fiction or video games. I'll confess that I did not read that essay: i.e. "The Invisible Girl," because I have no interest in video games or in how they are made.

The essays I most enjoyed are: "The Theory and Practice of Not Giving a Shit," in which Bissell visits the author, Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall) and "Writing about Writing about Writing."

Harrison has the persona of the gifted artist; that special person who has been touched by the Nine Muses, maybe he has. There is a definite agon, here, with Hemingway, et al; it could be fun to look at Harrison in light of Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence.

Well, sadly, that's about all I can recall from my earlier attempt.

I do look forward to reading more of Tom Bissell's work, which I'll approach with curiosity and pleasure.

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