Thursday, January 20, 2011

There is no average reader, but there is curly green in Uruguay.

i. There is no average reader.

I'm amending David Simon's quote I posted yesterday, "fuck the average reader."
I love it because it feels liberating, but it's misleading.
There is no average reader.

It's not the audience that makes writing good or bad, it's the writer. It is the idea of a reader in the writer's head that either expands or constricts her imagination.

Fuck the average editor, I would say instead, meaning (mostly) my own internal strangulation device.

ii. Uruguay Green

Poodletail, who is anything but average, gave me a knitting lesson yesterday. She brought wooden needles for me, and a skein of kettle-dyed "lettuce"-colored wool.
The wool is from the Malabrigo collective in Uruguay.

Malabrigo posted this picture of merino rams on their website. Their curliness reminded me of Uruguayan soccer player Diego Forlan's mop, which I'd admired in this past summer's World Cup. The final curl of green is from Uruguayan blogger and photographer Aleph.

Here I am casting on, at Bob's Java Hut. (For Rachel, because she asked.)


momo said...

oooh, that Malabrigo wool is so wonderful! I got some last year at Depth of Field, but I still haven't used it.
Lovely pictures!

ArtSparker said...

Just reading "Our Tragic Universe", by Scarlett Thomas, in which knitting figures prominently. A werewolf is implied, I have thirty pages left to go, and I'll tell you, if I don't get an actual werewolf before the end I shall be most annoyed...don't know if the werewolf knits.

Joni Mitchell is said to have wirtten "Little green" about a child she gave up for adoption.

femminismo said...

I just this minute bought red and pink yarn on my lunch break. I could go for some of that curly hair myself - the blond hair! Ooh lala!

Rachel said...

wooohooooooooooo! Thank you poodletail! for the lesson and, I presume, for the picture too? Very exciting. I hope you enjoy it - after such a build-up it would be disappointing but not astonishing if you didn't.

(I have a blog entirely devoted to knitting now. Not for the non-knitter of faint heart - I find many other people's obsessive interests can be really boring which is why I've hived the stitches off)

bink said...

I really wasn't going to leave a comment. I agree with you that "fuck the average reader" is really about getting rid of our internal constraints (that are sometimes placed upon us by others--thanks, mom).

Anyway, I wasn't really going to comment because I obviously don't have much to add but then I saw that my word verification was "inchwar" and I thought that was just too good! INCHWAR... that niggling war we fight inch by inch to reclaim our brains and creativity for ourselves!

Karen said...

Mateo knit two rows on a scarf during church today. I couldn't get either daugher hooked, but maybe my youngest will be my protege!!

Fresca said...

SPARKY: I just put that book on hold at the library, thanks to you.

FISMO: I wonder how we'd say "Ooh la la" in Spanish?

RACHEL: Thanks for the oomph. I am liking it, so far.

BINK: THanks--that's it--"getting rid of our internal constraints". Let us declare INCHWAR on them! (Some say that's what jihad is supposed to be too.)

KAREN: Sweet! And what a great thing to do in church.

Jennifer said...

Fuck the average editor, I would say instead, meaning (mostly) my own internal strangulation device.

Yeah, I knew what you meant in the previous post, but I do agree with the clarification! It's like you say, that strangling worry and assumption that people aren't going to get something. Depending on what you're writing--I can see why it might be a useful assumption to have when writing a middle-school textbook--it can really choke your writing. That balance between over-explaining and under-explaining is always such a struggle...

Fresca said...

JENN: Yes, yes, yes--I really struggle with under-/over-explaining... and with trying to be kind on top of it.

Sometimes I think trying to be kind is a limitation, but then I think, no, that limitation should make me a better writer. A good writer s/b able to tell the hard truth without being mean.

The snarky truth is easier to write--and often more amusing to read. But do I want to write it?
Well, yeah, sometimes!
But on the whole?
*sighs and turns from temptation*
Well, I guess not.