THE WORLD of writing is definitley an unusual one, with twist and tales that in many cases out twist and turn the stories written by the writer.
Every writer is plagued by uncertainty, some suffer from writer’s block, some have unusual routines they undertake before writing, some write every day and so on.
I was thinking about the ruminations of this, of the oddities, for example JD Salinger, author of Catcher in The Rye. The book is classed a classic American novel and is in fact the only novel Salinger ever wrote, he suffered from issues raised by the massive attention to the title created. He instead penned a few novellas and short story collections, but never returned to a novel length work and hid away at home for most of his life after the release in 1951.
Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange which featured the fictional language Nadsat – spoken by the teenage gangs. The language is sort of Russian influenced-English, and with the original book released in 1971 a glossary of the terms was featured with the title. The language/glossary, which was in a way an imagined language of the future, is no longer included in modern editions of the book. So, maybe the modernity of the language has reached its age, and hence no need for the glossary? Or maybe it’s just odd.
Another odd tale relates to Hunter S. Thompson, who only had one fiction novel released Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and one non-fiction with Hell’s Angels. The ‘Good Doctor’ had three other unpublished novels, one The Rum Diary was only released in 1998, years after it was written and rejected, along with Prince Jellyfish and Polo is My Life, after being found by actor Johnny Depp. Depp, who played Raoul Duke, (Thompson) in Terry Gilliam’s film adaptation of Fear and Loathing. I believe Depp bought the book and then had it published.
Every writer has experienced rejection, and knows silence of publishers, but one story that surely eclipses all of this comes in the shape of comes through writer Franz Kafka. Even if many are not aware of the works of Kafka, they may well be familiar with the term Kafkaesque.
The term relates to an experience being of a ‘bizarre or illogical’ nature. In a bizarre twist of literature, Kafka, who suffered from crushing uncertainty never saw any of his works published in book form. He did have some works featured in magazines, but on his death bed at an early age, he asked his friend (Max Brod) to burn all of his outstanding works, such as The Trial, Amerika and The Castle. Kafka’s works are now seen as a corner stone of literature. I wonder if that would have eased his crushing uncertainty?